Realising the benefits of integrated security

As threats to the security of business enterprises increase, there is a growing need to ensure that the latest cost effective protective technology is in place.

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), located near Hobart, is the largest privately funded museum in Australia. The site, which covers around 9,000 square metres and has some 400 pieces on display at any one time, attracts about 370,000 visitors per year.

In order to safely house the owner's personal collection as well as valuable pieces on loan from around the world, a customised integrated building services system, incorporating the latest in security technology, has been designed and installed by Honeywell Building Solutions.

The installation includes the company's recently launched Digital Video Manager (DVM) R500 closed circuit television surveillance system which forms an integral component of Honeywell's Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI) building management system. 

Security response

According to the company's regional leader of marketing and strategic development, Michael Brookes, the key to improved security response and productivity is integration. "This means managing the different functions as one integrated security solution and converging this with building management systems," he said.

"EBI ties all aspects of a security solution together, including surveillance, access control, and intrusion detection. It also integrates building climate control, safety, energy management and other core facility controls. "Open systems provide flexibility to integrate a wide range of sub-systems as well as expand cost effectively.

For example, the Security Manager function of EBI allows you to integrate  your building's safety, access and security systems into a single operator interface with centralised alarming, CCTV and digital video controllers, and cardholder management."

Open networking

At MONA an integrated solution is provided that brings together CCTV, access control, security, BMS, electrical control and monitoring, fire detection, intercom, biometrics, and photo ID. DVM's system architecture is built upon industry standard open networking, PC hardware, and software applications. 

It supports a vast array of commercial off-the-shelf hardware providing freedom of choice when selecting cameras, PC, storage, and networking hardware. 

The basic architecture consists of a Database Server and a Camera Server that can be installed on the same machine. Additional Camera Servers, backup Camera Servers and Analytical Servers can be added to the architecture to support larger numbers of cameras.

Operational efficiency

According to Brookes, the updated DVM R500 surveillance system sets new standards in operational efficiency, cost effectiveness and performance through a redesigned user interface, smart diagnostics and forensic search capabilities.

"The updated user interface provides improved productivity through ease of navigation, while smart diagnostic modules analyse system operations to help security operators to quickly process activity reports. 

"Key features of the system include synchronised and instant playback of multiple cameras, motion searching that detects movement in a selected area and tags it for review, and time scrubbing to quickly locate critical incidents and footage.

"Importantly, DVM uses standard communications technology, off-the-shelf hardware and existing network infrastructure and wiring for fast, easy installation. It also facilitates integration of existing analogue equipment to the LAN/ WAN, and supports integration with third party products and applications.

"Full integration with EBI is, however, achieved without the expense and future support inherent to custom software integration or complicated interconnection wiring. The new DVM user interface allows the display of multiple cameras in the main workspace via a single drag and drop operation from a multi-level camera tree representing either physical locations or operator-defined logical groups.

"Live and recorded video from a maximum of 25 cameras can be viewed at any one time whereas previously forensic analysis required the time consuming investigation of individual cameras. Integration with EBI allows direct linkage of video recordings to alarms and events enhancing operator awareness of specific situations, and an enterprise-wide view is achieved from a single workstation screen, thus enhancing operational efficiency.

"At MONA, key facility management functions are controlled by one person from the one location, including HVAC, fire and security, which provides significant cost benefits while delivering a reliable and effective building management system to protect a huge personal investment by the owner."

Digital Video Manager's Distributed Video Architecture.

Brookes points out that DVM's flexible architecture makes it easy to add or relocate cameras along a buildings network, so there is no need to purchase and maintain racks of recording equipment, monitors and switches.

"New CCTV monitors require only a PC with suitable software and a network connection, and database and camera servers are available in a redundant configuration, so that if the master server fails, the system automatically reverts to the backup server," he explained.

"A significant benefit of DVM is its scalability in that it is configurable from a small, one facility system, to a large corporate-wide system. The distributed video architecture of DVM R500 is capable of seamlessly integrating the video operations of numerous systems into one virtual platform."

Single interface

Site project manager at MONA, Steve Devereaux, believes that Honeywell has designed and installed a state-of-the-art integrated BMS/ access/ security/ CCTV system that is world class. 

"Importantly, the integrated graphical user interface has enabled MONA to manage multiple complex systems from a simple single interface, and by maximising the building automation capability, security staff resources to run day-to-day operations can be minimised," he said.

"Where the overall system stands out is in its use of EBI to provide a single integrated platform to deliver a safe and secure environment for the extensive art collection, staff and visitors.

"We are easily able to identify where there has been unauthorised motion or an incident in an area by dragging footage into a time-line view from multiple cameras, which can provide huge operational efficiencies. Analysis and reporting that would normally take four to five hours is now measured in minutes.

"Another benefit of the integrated platform is that if a fire alarm goes off, cameras under the DVM R500 system automatically activate the EBI which integrates other parts of the security system. In addition, inclusion of HVAC control under EBI is an added bonus because of the importance of maintaining strict climatic conditions, including humidity levels, within the MONA facility."

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