Putting perimeter problems to rest

October 2014 Integrated Solutions, Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Residential Estate (Industry)

The Rest Nature Estate is a secure estate in luxurious surroundings just outside of Nelspruit in the Mpumalanga province. Designed as a low-density residential estate spanning some 320 hectares, The Rest caters for a range of residents and even includes a Curro Private School in the middle of the estate.

As a semi-tropical nature estate, The Rest features a variety of trees and fauna, and is a haven for birdwatchers and wildlife lovers. The developers are working with Birdlife SA to create a bird sanctuary within the estate.

Following a slow start to sales in the initial development of the first phase of the estate, property owner Sanlam appointed SecondLifestyle to take over the further development of the property in 2013. SecondLifestyle took on the job and made significant changes to the project, which has resulted in improved sales.

SecondLifestyle has been involved in a number of upmarket residential developments in South Africa and Mauritius, including estates such as Villas Valriche and La Carmague among others.

An important task SecondLifestyle had to undertake, according to director Ian Todd, was to appoint a residential estate security expert to do a security survey and upgrade the estate’s security infrastructure to match the 'secure estate' title. The company chosen to manage the security upgrade was SMC - Security Management Consultants (SMC).

SMC’s Brian Sharkey explains that the estate’s existing security fell short of the mark and the company set about designing an improved and much more secure solution, which is being installed and maintained by installers from Nelspruit. As a first step, SMC redesigned the security of the 8 km perimeter, replacing the failing electric fence with a better solution. The new perimeter was based on three designs to cater for different locations around the estate.

For the first design, the existing faulty electric fence was left as an outer perimeter with a 1 m stretch of no-man’s land around the estate. Within that perimeter, SMC proposed a 2,1 m high ClearVu galvanised steel mesh fence, known as an invisible wall. Sharkey’s experience in dealing with perimeter intrusions resulted in the fence being seated in a concrete foundation – the whole fence, not only the posts – to prevent intruders from digging under the construction. This fence is backed up by a 2,7 m high electric fence.

The second design saw the installation of a 2,7 m high galvanised electric fence, also cast in concrete, supported on the inside with 1,8 m welded mesh fence. The third is a new wall-top electric fence, approximately 1,5 km long along Johanna Drive that will consist of a 1,7 m high fence with a 45-degree 700 mm overhang facing outwards.

All the fences will be secured with earth loops throughout and a poly dropper on the 2,7 m sections. The fence will be energised by JVA field energisers that will be monitored via a fibre optic cable around the entire perimeter buried into the concrete in a conduit supported by a mesh under dig to the newly established control room where a dedicated computer will monitor the status of all the perimeter zones and voltages. Knights Fencing, a local installer was tasked with installing and maintaining the fence.

Supporting the perimeter system will be two gatehouses with pedestrian turnstiles that are managed by biometric access terminals. These will be supplemented by a CCTV access control system that offers facial, vehicle and gatehouse camera views. Each camera and access control transaction will be monitored in the new control room which is now operational. The system is being installed by local supplier, East End Electronics.

Two new Comb MK II resident communications systems have been installed at each gate to allow residents to manage the entry of visitors to the estate. This will be supplemented with a driver’s licence or ID scanner for all visitors.

Todd says the security upgrades alone will cost more than R15 million, and the selection of local suppliers and installers was essential in ensuring the systems were well maintained going forward, but the benefit is that the upgrade will make The Rest Nature Estate one of the safest in the region, which is seeing tremendous growth at the moment.


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