Creating a safe and secure learning environment on campus is vital. With facilities designed to meet a range of different needs, from student accommodation to lecture theatres, libraries, labs and more, creating a secure yet welcoming environment can seem like a complicated task, especially when considering the additional challenges of managing campuses spread across multiple sites and the necessity of reducing energy use.
Morne Grobler, group operations officer for Gallagher, says an intelligent, integrated security solution can support universities to create a safe learning space while ensuring the security of assets. “A security solution that operates from one central management platform provides complete campus control, delivering a seamless experience to keep people safe, protect assets, optimise facility use and reduce cyber risks.”
Queensland University of Technology (QUT), a major Australian university at the forefront of innovation and development in tertiary education, opted for Command Centre, Gallagher’s site management platform, to manage security across their three campuses and multiple remote research sites. With an open campus environment and highly valuable assets to secure, the university needed a robust yet discreet security and site management system. QUT operates 1500 Gallagher access control readers across their sites, which communicate directly with Command Centre.
“We have buildings that are open until 10 pm and others that are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Tracey Bartlett, security systems officer at QUT. “Our security staff in the central monitoring stations (CMS) are able to create building and cardholder schedules, quickly lock down areas, grant immediate access and generate reports. These reports assist the QUT space management team on exactly how and when our facilities are being used.”
“We have a high expectation of the Gallagher system to manage the security of the non-public domain whilst allowing staff, students and authorised visitors the access they require,” Bartlett continues.
QUT works hard to ensure it operates a safe and secure campus. Integrations with Command Centre – including emergency control points and alarms for temperature change, fire and flooding – ensures staff quickly identify, locate and respond to any potential risks on campus.
“Our CMS team operates 24/7, our operators are highly skilled with the Gallagher system and in conjunction with our CCTV system, have a complete view of what’s happening on site. They are then able to direct the field staff to areas of the campus that need attention,” says Bartlett.
With universities across South Africa under pressure to reduce energy use, integrations with Command Centre can support universities to ensure building facilities are only operating when they’re needed. Grobler explains, “Integrating lighting and HVAC systems with access control allows these facilities to be configured to switch on or off as people enter or exit an area, such as a lecture theatre. Alternatively, systems can be pre-set to power up and down on defined schedules.”
A major benefit of operating one central platform is the ability to streamline security across multiple campuses with a university-wide solution. For example, King’s College London previously operated a variety of access control products across their multiple campuses before choosing Gallagher as their platform of choice across the entire university. Streamlining the differing systems into the college-wide Gallagher solution has created many advantages, including a considerable reduction in costs for training and operator skills and an improved user experience, especially for students.
Nick O’Donnell, director of Estates and Facilities at King’s College London, says: “Gallagher has enabled us to report information from across King’s in a single source and use that information to highlight maintenance, operator, staff and student user issues.”
Universities have complex needs when it comes to creating a safe and secure environment. An intelligent, integrated solution operating from one central platform allows universities to streamline security, create efficiencies and protect people and assets.
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