Home Case Study Security and safety increasingly matters in higher education

Security and safety increasingly matters in higher education

by Geny Caloisi

Robust security, including reliable monitoring and recording of activity in communal areas, is a key feature at the new Chapter White City student accommodation residence in West London. The site, run by Greystar Real Estate Partners – a leading developer of high-quality rental housing – caters for students from several leading higher education institutions, including Imperial College, BPP University and London College of Fashion UAL. 

A CCTV upgrade at the site reflects how security is increasingly recognised as significant asset across the higher education sector. University leaders and their accommodation partners are keenly aware of the value that students bring in the fees they pay. And they know that perceptions of safety strongly influence prospective students, and their parents, when they are choosing where to study and live. This is particularly true for international students and those moving long distances from home for the first time. 

At the White City development safety and security enhanced by CCTV are selling points as well as its location and facilities. On-site amenities include bedrooms, study spaces, a gym, and social areas – all now protected by secure entry and a 24/7 security team, features designed to appeal to students from across the UK and overseas by providing one of the most attractive living spaces in the London student market.

Safety and wellbeing 

The site already had a 24/7 security presence, but the CCTV system originally installed, despite being less than four years old, was not living up to its promise. The cameras were providing inadequate coverage, with gaps in key areas, poor image quality and VMS that was proving difficult to use. 

Specialist security systems integrator Triple Star Fire and Security was asked to deliver a complete upgrade – and IDIS technology was immediately recommended.

Triple Star’s installation team designed an upgraded video surveillance solution using IDIS end-to-end technology – comprising network cameras, recorders, IDIS Center VMS, and all network accessories – to eliminate security blind-spots, improve image quality, and transform usability for the 24/7 security team.

More cameras, better value

Thanks to IDIS’s promise of TCO (low total cost of ownership) the number of cameras across the site was doubled, from twenty to over forty, eliminating blind-spots with exceptional HD image capture of every location without increasing operating expenditure. The building exterior was fully covered, including entrances, storage areas and the car park, as well as internal communal areas including lift lobbies, corridors, and kitchens.

The 5MP IDIS vandal-resistant IR domes feature varifocal lenses, true WDR, and IR LED to guarantee crisp, clear live view and recorded footage in all lighting conditions, including night-time coverage up to 30m.

For Triple Star’s engineers delivering the project was made faster and easier by IDIS DirectIP® technology, which enabled true plug-and-play of the cameras and two 32-channel 6300 Series NVRs expanded with IDIS eSata devices to cost-effectively provide an additional 48 terabytes of storage. Built-in PoE switches and a hierarchical connection structure also ensured the most efficient method of cabling. This seamless compatibility of the IDIS end-to-end solution model reduced installation time and minimised disruption to day-to-day resident operations.

Contributing to the reduced TCO, IDIS Intelligent Codec, an advanced compression technology, reduced the data storage and bandwidth burden by approximately 65%. And the system benefits from multi-layered network security; IDIS end-to-end solutions come with inherent cybersecurity designed in, including mutual authentication of cameras and NVRs, secure data access, storage and transmission combined with proprietary protocols, and specialist video database structures.

Early successes

The upgraded IDIS video solution at Chapter White City adds to its appeal, particularly for first year and international.

The system is operated via the cost and license-free, intuitive IDIS Centre VMS. Using a 28-inch ultra-HD monitor at the reception desk, security staff now have complete situational awareness across the site, with no visible latency thanks to the impressive NVR throughput of 270Mbps and 240ips live view. This lets them quickly identify, verify, and respond to events or incidents, and provide a significantly enhanced service.

In one notable success, a recurring problem – damage to parked vehicles during refuse collection – was resolved within days of the system being commissioned thanks to the availability of indisputable video evidence.

Greystar Real Estate now has the assurance that residents are better safeguarded, and their personal property protected, giving them the confidence to enjoy their university experience. Greystar also has the guarantee that its investment is protected long term with backward and forward compatibility; scalability to encompass more cameras and devices; cost-free software and firmware updates; with equipment backed by an industry-leading extended warranties. 

“Greystar is delighted with the IDIS solution because it gives them outstanding performance now and the best TCO value long term, with low OPEX costs and assured flexibility,” says Matt Edwards, security systems director at Triple Star Fire & Security. “Building on this success Triple Star is undertaking more projects for this leading property developer.”

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