8 Mar 2007

Net2, the network access control system from Paxton Access Limited, the UK market leader in the design and manufacture of electronic access control systems, has been installed at the headquarters of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) at One Great George Street in the heart of Westminster, London.

Owned by the ICE, in 1989 One George Street became available as a conference and function venue and is now a popular location for conferences, weddings and other functions.  This dual role is why Phil Ackers, ICE's Building Service Manager decided to review the security.  He explains, "It is essential that our public areas offer freedom of movement to the people that visit either for business conferences or social occasions.  However, it is important that access to our offices and the library is restricted to our directors, staff and members.   Our library is the biggest resource in civil engineering in the world and has a large collection of reference books.   Some areas were secured by lock and key; this was not convenient as keys get lost and it is expensive and inconvenient to keep replacing locks.'

The contract was awarded to Integrated Facilities Systems Ltd (IFS Ltd).   Managing Director, Craig Paisley, recommended a mixed package of strategically placed CCTV cameras and Net2, Craig's preferred solution: "The system is straightforward to install and the ease of commissioning makes it exceptional." Phil says, "Craig gave me a demonstration of the Net2 software; it looked so intuitive and easy to use I was more than happy."

Initially, IFS Ltd were contracted to fit 12 doors onto the system, but Phil says, "As soon as some of the offices and corridors were secured, the Council and staff saw the benefits of restricting access and we started adding more doors to the system."

Net2 now controls 30 doors at One George Street.  The ground-floor offices, which may be accessed directly from the foyer area, are all secured by the system.  The corridors, which lead from the public areas on all of the floors and some of the individual offices, are now also protected by the Net2 system.  In addition, some sensitive areas such as the plant and server cupboards are protected.  It is no longer possible for anyone without an access token to wander away from the public areas.

Phil is very happy with the implementation:  "Our building is sensitive due to its heritage listing and to have unsightly trunking running everywhere would have been unacceptable.  IFS have managed the installation without detracting from the look of the individual rooms and doors."

"The security guards love the benefits the Net2 system has brought," Phil says.  "When there are weddings and conferences on it has always been hard to keep track of all the visitors.  Protecting the private areas of the building by the access control system has made life a lot easier.  Also, as the staff cards are printed with the person's photograph, it is a double check for our security that someone has a right to access the secured part of the building."

"Our directors and staff are pleased with how our security system works."  Phil explains,  "I was expecting some complaints about inconvenience; in fact, I have received only positive comments.  Everyone feels more secure, especially those who work late in the evenings and at weekends.  In addition there have been no incidents of theft since the Net2 system was commissioned.  The staff know the importance of informing me if their tokens have gone missing. It is them and their property that is being protected. The fact that I can instantly bar any lost access tokens from validity at the doors is great."

Phil monitors events on the system and uses the reporting facility on a monthly basis.   Should an incident occur he would  be able to pinpoint the last person to enter an area.

"Expandability is important to us," says Phil.  "As the benefits of installing Net2 have become more and more apparent, we now plan to add more doors onto the system."