SSI Installation of the Year: ADT Commercial Passes Physical Security Exam

Find out how ADT Commercial further deepened its strong ties to Seattle Children’s Hospital with an advanced system that clinched an SSI Integrated Installation of the Year Award.

SSI Installation of the Year: ADT Commercial Passes Physical Security Exam

Seattle Children’s provides hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. The organization covers the largest region of any pediatric hospital in the country, with 8,460 employees across 40 sites of care.

From a security perspective, Seattle Children’s is committed to protecting lives and assets so their people can provide the best care possible through streamlined processes and state-of-the-art technology.

Beginning in the 1990s, Seattle Children’s had implemented physical access control for key access points, deployed video in select locations and provided officers with radios to support timely communication for rapid response. However, the security program wanted to take the next step and develop a compelling, cohesive and scalable strategy that would improve its operations and align with future needs.

Leading Northwest integrator Aronson Security Group (ASG) has collaborated with Seattle Children’s to help customize and deploy a cutting-edge, holistic approach to security to help protect its people and assets throughout its network of buildings that include hospitals, research centers, and administrative offices.

That relationship has continued as ASG was acquired by ADT Commercial in 2018.“Buildings of this type bring a high level of complexities due to the sensitivity of the environments and the technology involved,” says Phil Aronson, now senior vice president, enterprise solutions, for ADT Commercial. “ADT Commercial is uniquely able to meet the highly regulated, extremely sensitive needs of a healthcare environment. We’ve employed a team of vertical market experts, who are wholly dedicated to the healthcare space, and are tuned into the ever-evolving challenges these environments face.”

While the ADT brand has been around since the 19th century, America’s most dominant security systems and monitored services provider engaged in several transactions in recent years that repositioned the business — including the launching of its ADT Commercial division.

ADT’s extensive capabilities and expertise in this area are the result of more than 15 acquired companies, with the operation now employing more than 5,000 commercial-focused associates. The business offers in excess of 150 sales and service locations across the U.S., serving commercial, national account and enterprise clients.

One of the most recent phases within the scope of ADT Commercial’s work for Seattle Children’s was its Building Cure, a 540,000-square-foot pediatric research facility located in the downtown biotech corridor. This impressive and successful project captured Security Sales & Integration’s 2020 Integrated Installation of the Year (Large Company).

“ADT Commercial built an entire security platform leveraging cutting-edge technologies, balancing an attractive, sleek design with strong functional security to meet the high security requirements of this organization,” adds Aronson.

The project included building a security operations center (SOC) that monitors the new integrated access control, intercom, intrusion and video platforms. Elevators leverage destination dispatch and floor control through the access control API integration.

Optical turnstiles and cameras are carefully placed in the lobby to provide symmetry and security. Mobile credential and QR readers were deployed into parking access and key locations, providing simplistic access control to staff and visitors.

Seattle Children’s covers the largest region of any pediatric hospital in the country, with 8,460 employees across 40 sites of care.

Finely Coordinated Effort

The multistage project to secure the 12-story building was completed during the course of 2019. ADT Commercial worked off a design produced by an independent third-party consultant that engaged directly with Seattle Children’s. Other leading contributors and decision-makers included research and hospital stakeholders from the facilities and security departments; architect; project manager; general contractor; and electrical.

“One of the biggest challenges is specifying and budgeting security technology before construction begins,” says Dylan Hayes, manager, IT Security, Physical Security Program for Seattle Children’s. “Since permitting and construction can take up to two or more years, the technology that was specified may not be current. Fortunately, we have been working with ADT Commercial for many years and they stepped in and helped us evaluate the original risk assessment and scope of work before implementing, saving us a lot of time and money.”

Additionally, Seattle Children’s cyber, physical and IT security teams were a guiding light throughout the project in assessing and strategically deploying a technology roadmap. They evaluated needs of key stakeholders and assessed vendor partners that would include LenelS2, Milestone, Zenitel, Boon Edam, OTIS, HID Global, ASSA ABLOY and a hyperconverged video storage infrastructure.

The ADT Commercial team engaged in a holistic approach throughout the overall design process, aligning to the organizational values of innovation, collaboration and excellence.

“Standards that were utilized directly met and expanded upon Seattle Children’s current security technology deployments,” says Larry Minaker, senior client manager, ADT Commercial. “Working with high-voltage and data contractors was vital. Seamless coordination with the selected door hardware provider and installer required a constant flow of communication to ensure that the correct product would be provided and installed when needed. Constant collaboration with Seattle Children’s IT group on network connectivity, IP addresses, port assignment, and troubleshooting as-needed, was paramount.”

The installation would require approximately 1,500 man-hours, plus technician time. The end user had a voice and input throughout the entire process. “Examples of this collaboration include ensuring compliance with IT rules and regulations; in the topology principles of the design; on processes for the OTIS destination dispatch; on kiosk and elevator cab assignment; and in a redesign of the COM server architecture,” adds Minaker.

Access Anchors Approach

According to Hayes, Seattle Children’s believes in a holistic approach to its security technology architecture, believing inefficiencies can result from siloing. “Therefore, we believe in anchoring our architecture with identity management and credentialing, tying it to intrusion and alarm, creating an all-hazards risk framework through video surveillance, and supporting it all through intelligent communications with IP Intercom at the time of need.”

Based on that overarching philosophy and mission, the complete system in the Building Cure research facility is comprised of the following technologies:

  • Bluetooth Access: Leveraging HID credentials, OnGuard access control, Rytec automatic door and magnetic parking gates.
  • Turnstiles: Leveraging HID credentials, QR reader, OnGuard access control and Boon Edam turnstiles.
  • Destination Dispatch: With elevator floor control using HID credentials, OnGuard access control and OTIS elevators.
  • Managed Secure Key Checkout: Comprised of HID credentials, OnGuard access and Traka key box.
  • RightCrowd: Captures single driver and carpool driver activity from LenelS2 OnGuard for billing purposes.
  • Bosch Intrusion: Includes ASSA ABLOY device activation, alarms monitored by a central station and pushed to redundant dispatch processes in Lenel OnGuard for resilient monitoring.
  • Access Readers: 1,800+ in total across all buildings, 175 in Building Cure structure.
  • Video Surveillance: 925 cameras across the enterprise (142 2MP units in Building Cure structure).
  • Intelligent Communications: 9 Zenitel voice stations integrated with LenelS2 access.

All of the technologies are brought together in an enterprise vSOC model for command and control of the LenelS2 OnGuard access control system, Milestone VMS XProtect software, Zenitel communications, building automation monitoring and intrusion/duress alarms. The system’s backbone streams digital video to hyperconverged storage infrastructure located at an off-premise datacenter.

“Seattle Children’s evaluated and benchmarked each vendor’s ability to provide ‘ilities,’ principally, interoperability and intelligibility,” says Hayes. “For interoperability the team realized making two products work together was not enough. There needed to be a collaborative, holistic, intentional program built upon integration between technology partners, such as LenelS2 and Milestone. For intelligibility, the solution had to be heard and understood under any circumstance and integrate into the foundation. These requirements influenced the choice of communication and video platforms.”

ADT’s extensive capabilities and expertise in the commercial security sector are the result of more than 15 acquired companies, with the operation now employing more than 5,000 commercially-focused associates.

Taking Challenges in Stride

ADT led discussions surrounding security integration with construction, IT, operations and security teams. A methodology of careful preplanning, ongoing coordination and collaboration contributed to the project’s success. Preplanning included deploying technology in ADT Commercial’s lab prior to deploying it in Seattle Children’s test environment.

This eliminated any kinks before full-scale deployment.“We were constantly engaged with the customer through daily communication, weekly team meetings, and site visits to ensure we continued to detail the project management aspects of the job,” says Aronson. “We outlined and adhered to a totally collaborative process, including budget development as well as on project elements and metrics. We diligently scheduled communication with stakeholders and made every effort ensure the project was completed on time, on scope, and on budget.”

Nevertheless, according to Minaker, due to security being one of the last trades in for installation some issues are inevitable. They can arise as unexpected design challenges in regard to camera mounting or reader locations, for example.

“Intensive, consistent collaboration with IT and security teams was of the utmost importance in answering any and all questions that can emerge during a project,” he says. “Is the cable installed? Is the device rough-in complete? Have the doors, frames and electrified hardware been installed? Are network switches installed? Is there network connectivity? Network troubleshooting? Throughout the process, a cohesive, inclusive partnership was key to ensuring the success and seamlessness of the project.”

“As the level of integration increases, so do the ‘gotchas,’ add Aronson. “Bringing together multiple hardware manufacturers and multiple software companies to create a seamless, reliable solution is an art and a science. Strong partnerships with proven industry solution leaders are vital. Collaboration early and often with the client team is non-negotiable to ensure success.”

Complexity Yields Simplicity

The installed solution has already been assisting Seattle Children’s security personnel in numerous ways. It has increased their situational awareness of risk and, in many cases, disrupted potential incidents as well as captured forensic evidence, keeping stakeholders and the hospital secure.

The system has also enhanced Seattle Children’s security operations, allowing for improvements in functionality and efficiency. For instance, integrated mobile credentials have simplified provisioning and QR technology is the foundation for a new visitor management system enabling a seamless and secure experience.

By leveraging the integration capabilities of Seattle Children’s security platforms, the environment is easily monitored from the new SOC. No wonder Hayes says Seattle Children’s plans to explore other opportunities with ADT.

Says ADT Commercial EVP Dan Bresingham: “The monumental work completed at Seattle Children’s is a true testimony to the progress we’ve made at ADT Commercial. We’ve brought together the strengths, talents and expertise of more than 15 commercial security and fire organizations the past few years to become an industry leader. We’re thrilled with the partnership we’ve built here.”

View the slideshow for more images from the project.

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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