Best of the Best: Integrator Provides Pet Hospital Solution With Surgical Precision

VCA Animal Hospitals is the go-to place for pet owners to take their ailing domestic animals. As it stands, the full-service veterinary chain with diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical services providing general, specialty and emergency pet care, has more than 540 locations in 41 states. So, it’s no surprise that when the pet health care services provider decided to build a brand new 40,000-square-foot facility in Weymouth, Mass., it required a state-of-the-art security solution that would not only protect animal patients, but employees and human customers alike.

Enter Protection 1 of Romeoville, Ill., VCA’s integrator of choice that came onboard during the building’s early architectural planning phase. After VCA personnel told the P1 team their special security needs, including the protection of medical machinery and controlled substances worth millions of dollars, the integrator began designing a turnkey solution. What resulted was a system that includes hosted access control, interior and exterior video surveillance, intercom, and intrusion detection. The job helped P1 qualify as a finalist for SSI’s 2012 Integrated Installation of the Year.

Showing Strength in the Commercial Game

With 65 offices, nearly 3,000 employees and more than 1.5 million residential, commercial and national accounts, P1 is definitely a well-recognized name throughout the electronic security industry. While the company has had much success in the residential market, P1 executives wanted to demonstrate that the company is strong in the commercial sector.

“We entered the SAMMYs program because many people think of Protection 1 as a residential brand,” P1 Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer Jamie Haenggi explains. “However, we have extensive commercial integrated systems capabilities. We wanted to draw more awareness and also showcase the quality work and involvement we have with our customers.”

In fact, the integrator had to prove its skills to VCA officials, who met P1 years ago at a trade show, through small integration jobs before the veterinary chain would allow the company to perform larger, enterprise projects. “P1’s superior service has allowed our relationship to grow to where it is today,” VCA Director of Construction Charles Nichols says. “We now consider the company as our proprietary security vendor for all new projects, renovations and relocations.”

Planning, Teamwork Eases Installation

Beginning in January 2011, the P1 integration team had much to accomplish during the five-month, 267-hour installation project. Throughout various stages of building construction, the P1 project manager interfaced with VCA security, architects, engineers, contractors and locksmiths to provide the most cost-effective, comprehensive system.

To help VCA administrators monitor the outside of the building, the crew installed 15 outdoor dome cameras, which view parking lots, entrances, exits and all exterior doors. Inside the facility, there were many needs for video monitoring. For example, to actively monitor animals under anesthesia while receiving treatment, P1 deployed pan/tilt/zoom (p/t/z) cameras on MRI machines, CAT scan appliances and linear accelerators.

Additionally, 10 indoor cameras are placed in the reception area, lobby, elevator cabs, pharmacy, controlled-substance closets and radioactive prep area. Rooftop cameras also allow VCA personnel to monitor any radioactive bursts. Other installed surveillance equipment includes three Honeywell HRDV DVRs, six duplex multiplexers and nine monitors.

A Brivo Web-hosted access control system, which integrates with an Aiphone intercom system, keeps human customers out of restricted areas designated for hospital staff. Twelve HID keypad/proximity combination readers are located on the exterior of the building, while 24 HID Thinline readers protect the interior. Von Duprin crash bars, night latch and cylinder dogging, which holds in a retracted position of a latchbolt on an exit device, are also placed on exterior doors. For intrusion detection, the integrator deployed perimeter door contacts, roof hatch contacts, 24-hour armed glass-break detectors and panic buttons.

With all the equipment implemented, Haenggi notes that there were some glitches with wiring during the project. “Careful planning was critical to accommodate special needs of the building,” she says. “For example, the MRI room must be completely lined with copper walling for radiation containment, and the wall cannot be penetrated. There is a sister wall with ‘wave guides’ to route wiring. We had to communicate to the architect about wire route diameter required ahead of the build because the installation timing had to happen between construction of the outer sister wall and the copper wall.”

Solution Leaves Smiles All Around

So far, the delighted end user has not had any problems with the new solution, but should any issues arise, P1 has maintenance agreements in place for all systems.

Ashley Willis is Associate Editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.

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