Specialized Housing Complex Gets Special System

For Warner Transitional Services (WTS), a residential housing facility in Carmel, Ind., for adults with intellectual/developmental and behavioral disabilities, providing a secure environment in which its clients could live and learn was imperative. Citing “a superior understanding of our situation, reasonableness of installation costs and first-class technical expertise,” local systems integrator Conzer Security was hired to fulfill that need.

The project called for Conzer to design, install and/or integrate WTS’ video surveillance, intrusion alarm, access control, network, audio and fire systems.

“What made this project unique was the level of integration, the number of systems that had to work together and the unique functionality requested, coupled with the need to prevent breaches or failures under nearly any circumstance,” says Conzer COO Jeremiah Conley. “We had not had any projects requiring this level of functionality in a single phase and in such a short timeframe.”

The $550,000 project, which included 172 2-megapixel cameras and 123 access controlled doors, was a finalist for SSI’s 2013 Integrated Installation of the Year.

Hundreds of Cameras & Doors

After being referred by an existing customer, WTS first invited the integrator to participate in the bidding process in the fall of 2011. Conzer received the design-build contract in April 2012, began work a month later and achieved substantial completion in August.

In addition to the 172 cameras, the video surveillance system features five IP video servers. A mix of IQinVision and JVC cameras were installed with HP servers running Exacq Technologies software. Cameras view all interior public areas including hallways, classrooms, gyms, cafeterias, and outdoor recreational areas and parking lots. Two 180° Arecont 8-megapixel outdoor dome cameras are also used to watch exterior areas. 

The 123 access controlled doors are connected to 16 Keyscan access panels, and integrated with the existing fire system and ID badging system. Due to the number and different types of doors a wide variety of hardware was needed. The building presented a challenge for the end user in that many mag locks were used but there were no pull stations. WTS worked closely with the AHJ for approvals and variance allowances while ensuring safe exiting in an emergency.

Conley provides more on the networking infrastructure side of the installation: “We had to create a separate network using HP 24-port PoE switches across six closets and connect that network with their network. We integrated the solution with active directory and mapping, and prewired the residential part of the building for video distribution and Internet access.”

Other brands included in the project included Altronix, ELK, GRI, HES, Leviton, Minuteman and Securitron.

Firm Rolls With Punches

Conzer dealt with several challenges to meet the stringent requirements of the project. One difficulty was running cable, much of which had to be done above ceilings in areas resembling residential attics full of commercial equipment.

“The buildings were built at different times and it was very difficult getting cable through the ceilings,” says Conley. “There were spots where larger guys could not fit through. Fortunately, one member of our team particularly enjoyed running cable in these tight spaces. It turned out he had previously worked in a coalmine in Kentucky and thought wiggling through tight spaces was no big deal.” (l-r) Conzer’s Dave Conley, president; Jeremiah Conley, COO; and Tom Hopkins, project manager.

Other hurdles included an aggressive completion schedule, the number of cameras increasing 80% and doors tripling from the original scope, and the client’s demand for a system that provided sophisticated features and functions but was user-friendly and did not require a high level of management.

All the hard work not only paid off monetarily and in notoriety, but in a loyal and enduring customer as WTS has expressed extreme satisfaction with both the solution and its provider. “We are a very nontechnical environment and as such needed someone like Conzer Security to guide us through this entire process,” says a WTS representative. “We look forward to continuing our relationship to support and provide preventive maintenance on our system.”

Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine has spent nearly 15 years with SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. He can be reached at (704) 663-7125.

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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