Heriot Watt University: Shaping the Future of Education

Customer Challenge:

Taking its duty of care towards students and staff very seriously, Heriot-Watt University wanted to explore how state of the art CCTV systems, Salto Access Control, Fire Safety Systems and Disabled Toilet Alarms would contribute to a safe environment. The University also had an eye on the future and looked for a scalable solution that would be a sound investment for years to come.

Heriot Watt University has been acclaimed as Scotland’s International University. With a strong focus on forward thinking and quality education, the University looked to King Communications & Security Ltd for a security solution that would prove reliable, flexible, scalable and future proof. The result was a complete IP CCTV solution based on Milestone IP video surveillance software and an IBM hardware platform implemented by Seric Systems, secured accommodation in the newly developed buildings using Salto Access Control, new fire alarms and disabled toilet alarms that are connected through the network to ensure that any problems are dealt with quickly as the universities two campus’ are spread over 40 miles apart.

With only 12 cameras on the main Edinburgh campus, the University wanted to upgrade its security to provide both staff and students a safe working environment. Moreover, with plans to expand the campus, it was essential that any system put in place could easily accommodate future plans of the University.

Bill Taylor, Security and Operations Manager at Heriot-Watt University stated:

We were looking for a solution that would last for at least the next 10 years. The solution put forward by King Communications offered us that scalability.

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After completion of phase two of the project, Heriot-Watt University will have a total of 40 IP CCTV cameras installed covering their campus. Cameras will also be placed in the server room for added protection. In addition to the Milestone Software, provided by King Communications and Security Ltd, Heriot Watt has adopted IBM Director to monitor and protect their network servers. IBM provide peace of mind as the core parts of the system are being constantly being monitored and so if a serious incident occurs then the technology has caught and stored the event. Transmitting over the universities IP Network, security staff can use a secure password to log on through a web browser anywhere on the campus network and view images captured by cameras. The individual cameras and areas that each user can view can be controlled if required. The location of the camera is also very flexible; they can be plugged in wherever there is a camera port attached to the network.

Stuart MacDonald, Managing Director at Seric Systems says:

If a serious security incident occurs, Heriot-Watt wants to be sure its technology has caught and stored that event. By constantly monitoring the core parts of the system, IBM Director provides peace of mind. You know that everything is working as it should.

Salto Wireless Access Control was installed in 559 doors across the university to ensure that people had the correct access to buildings. The XS4 model was installed on the main entrance door with the same model on bedroom doors. By doing so, no one can get access to buildings or room that they shouldn’t be in it. The bedroom doors were programmed with “Toggle Mode” which is specific to the university. This meant that the door could be left open in order to stop problems when students left their keys in their room. Salto was installed on the existing network so that all information can be securely stored and monitored.

A new fire alarm system was installed across the newly installed IP network into all residencies. King Communications & Security Ltd installed Apollo detectors throughout the campus so if in the occasion of a fire, an alarm would be raised across the network ensuring the safety of all the buildings, staff and students. The company are SSAIB certified and can ensure that all required fire safety standards are met.

Martyn King, Managing Director at King Communications & Security Ltd says:

Although Heriot-Watt's new security solution is extremely flexible and provides a sophisticated range of features, it's very easy to operate. I know that security staff at the University are extremely positive about its implementation and are looking forward to using it.

As Heriot-Watt’s new security system is based on software rather than traditional control equipment, it is much easier and cheaper to expand its coverage or increase its functionality. Moving forward, the University is interested in exploring cost-effective ways of leveraging the new technology to provide unexpected benefits. For example, with a growing requirement for e-learning, particularly considering Heriot-Watt’s links with remote island communities in the Orkneys and its international programmes, camera ports in lecture rooms and laboratories could be used to record learning materials.

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