High-Rise Scales Heights of Integration

An integrator designs a sophisticated security solution for a new, technologically advanced tower in Miami’s financial district. Video and visitor management systems, access control, turnstiles, and floor-specific elevator systems are controlled through software in a single location or in multiple areas on the network.

Rising above Miami’s financial district, the new Brickell World Plaza is the Sunshine State’s first commercial real estate tower to be pre-certified platinum under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Also referred to as 600 Brickell, the 40-story structure, which topped out in March 2011, is in fact one of only a handful of buildings like it in the world with a LEED rating of platinum.

With a goal to represent a new standard for technology in office development, 600 Brickell’s developer likewise sought to fortify the tower with state-of-the-art electronic security systems. To that end, Security Innovative Solutions (SIS) of Davie, Fla., was commissioned to provide the access control and video surveillance systems based on its advanced integration design philosophy and ample experience with other tower projects.

“Many systems are either poorly put together, with many components not talking to each other, or they are overly complicated to use,” says SIS President Ramsey Hasan. “We design and install systems that can be easily used by security staff, property managers and building maintenance.”

Read on to learn how this unique undertaking came to fruition, and evidences the electronic security industry’s headlong drive to deploy systems built on open platforms.

Tower Specialist Gets the CallSecurity Innovative Solutions (SIS) designed and installed an integrated access control and video surveillance management system for Brickell World Plaza, a 40-story tower located in Miamis financial district. Pictured (l-r): SIS Project Executive Maurice Gerovitz; Paris Del Rio, project manager, Foram Group, the projects developer/owner; SIS President Ramsey Hasan.

The developer of Brickell World Plaza, Miami-based developer Foram Group, broke ground on the $310 million structure in spring 2007. The tower offers more than 600,000 square feet of leasable office space on 28 floors while levels 2-11 comprise the parking facility. At the ground level, the tower’s 30,000-square-foot public plaza is bedecked with shade trees, garden areas, a 2,050-square-foot pergola with shaded seating, and an outdoor stage area for cultural events and concerts.

Among the innovative features that earned Brickell World Plaza its LEED Platinum rating is a “daylight harvesting” control system. Photo sensors located within 15 feet of the perimeter of the building detect daylight levels and automatically adjust the output of electric lighting to create visual balance. Wireless Internet access is available throughout the building and on the plaza, plus the tower features a rentable meeting center with leading-edge video conference equipment.

Brickell World Plaza may have been designed to offer its tenants sustainable, sophisticated environs for decades to come, but initially its electronic security designs were nowhere near on par with its other technological accoutrements.

Enter SIS, which was commissioned by the project’s general contractor, John Moriarty & Associates (JMA) of Boston. Among SIS’ previous security work for JMA projects were three Trump towers in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., and the three towers at Miami’s Icon Brickell, a project inspired by cutting-edge designer Philippe Starck.

Following a lull in construction of the Brickell tower during the recession, SIS joined the project in December 2010 when it was back on a fast-track to completion.

“JMA brought us in because of the antiquation and the lack of scalability of the original security system,” says SIS Project Executive Maurice Gerovitz. “It was more designed to lasso the building owner and keep them tied down with licensing all different types of things for a long time.”

SIS writes specifications for many of its projects through its own in-house CAD and engineering department. Gerovitz was charged with redesigning Brickell’s entire access control and video surveillance systems, which he envisioned to integrate with turnstiles, the visitor management system, and elevator controls. Hence, he selected systems for the building that would allow him to converge open platforms to maximize security and provide the end user with added business efficiencies. 

“I did a lot of thinking outside the box with this project. Some of the integration was at the manufacturer level and some of it was created just for this job,” he says. “We will only choose a manufacturer that will work with us. We’ll choose a manufacturer that is not too big to where they won’t let their design team work with us to create something that a building owner might want or a project may need.”

SIS’ vendor partners in the Brickell project included EasyLobby, Exacq Technologies, Gallagher and Gunnebo. Together, each of the firms played an integral part in demonstrating how separate components of a facility or security management system can be brought together as an integrated solution.

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About the Author

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Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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