Integrated electronic security

November 2006 Integrated Solutions

Electronic risk management security forms part of an overall intelligent ­integrated security concept at Pfizer’s new five-storey head office in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Designed by Taemane Consulting and implemented by IDtek Solutions, the building represents one of the leading integrated security electronics installations in Sandton, according to Jonathan Edwards, professional consultant at Taemane Consulting.

The history

The tender brief was for a high-tech security solution, and IDtek Solutions was chosen for its price competitiveness and track record. The objective was a solution that integrates all the security electronics into a single intelligent system.

The system

The solution consists of an access control and CCTV system, an intercom/panic system, intrusion detection, guard tracking, perimeter security and parcel and pedestrian x-ray equipment. The whole system is controlled by a single control room which is equipped and operates on the back of Impro's IXP400 system and a Pelco CCTV Switching Matrix.

The intricacy of the undertaking becomes apparent when one considers that the system controls and monitors around 35 doors, 45 CCTV cameras, pedestrian and vehicle control to the site; 50 passive infrared detectors, numerous door monitors, multiple fixed and remote panic buttons; over 20 intercoms with two master panels; 600 m of 24 strand electrified perimeter fencing; and guard tracking at different points throughout the site.

As per many of the larger CCTV installations the head end equipment (the equipment that stores the relevant recording) has been separated from the monitoring and operating equipment - such as the high speed dome camera controls and the video monitoring wall. In this way there is a sharing of responsibilities and no recorded footage can be altered from the control room.

A Pelco switching matrix supplied by Norbain ensures that as a camera detects movement the relevant footage is brought up instantaneously on the video screen. This ensures that the control room operator does not attempt to detect an event on any one of the 45 cameras at the same time.

The system has been configured to allow for remote monitoring from the residence of the facilities manager and on the local area network by users with the required security clearances.

IDtek was able to leverage off the strengths of the IXP400 electronic security system to integrate and interface with the BMS and fire system. In the event of a fire, certain doors are unlocked and, in the event that the IXP400 system fails, a message is sent to the BMS to notify all responsible persons.

Furthermore, IDtek was able to ensure that in the event a panic station is activated, so too is the attached intercom, and a high speed dome automatically swivels to and focuses in on the relevant panic station using the IMPRO input and output units and certain presets on the CCTV equipment. At the same time an alarm is triggered on the graphic user interface, which the operator needs to acknowledge using his tag. The operator will then need to record procedures online for later follow-up.

On the access control scope, the user carries a multitechnology smartcard - the HID iClass smartcard. The card contains a mag stripe, a 13,56 MHz contactless gemplus smart chip and antennae as well as a 125 kHz proximity antennae. The card is printed with the user's photograph and in the event they use the card at certain access points their image is brought up on the relevant graphic user monitor in the control room such that where there is CCTV coverage the operator is able to ensure that the correct person is using the card. The card itself contains a digital signature to authenticate the source of the card and in certain cases a fingerprint template.

Sagem SA and Ideco Technologies supplied MA100 fingerprint reader technology for areas where heightened security was required. The result is that the user must both present his card and match his stored fingerprint before gaining access.

The benefits

Pfizer has been able to benefit financially through saving on costs associated with manpowered security services. Another area of saving was achieved through mounting video monitors directly onto the viewing wall where the costs associated with a security control consol were avoided.

Furthermore, attention to the detail in the project meant that all visible hardware was in keeping with the overall aesthetics of the building.

Fact file

IDtek Solutions, Julian Thorrold, +27 (0) 11 706 6649,

Taemane Consulting, Jonathan Edwards, +27 (0) 11 608 5000,

Ideco, Gary Jones, +27 (0) 11 840 7800,

Norbain SA, Johann Schoeman, +27 (0) 11 887 1546,


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