The University of London is one of the oldest, largest and most diverse universities in the UK. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University is recognised globally as a world leader in Higher Education. It consists of 18 self-governing Colleges of outstanding reputation, together with a range of prestigious Central Academic Bodies and Activities.
The new CCTV systems provide fixed static camera monitoring of all points of entry/exit and security reception areas, with the captured high resolution images recorded in real time and stored at full frame rate for 31 days on Samsung SRD-1670DC Digital Video Recorders (DVRs).
The CCTV project was driven by on-site TFM provider, Balfour Beatty WorkPlace (BBW) which manages 31 buildings for the University, including the eight Halls of Residence buildings and a large external precinct in the Bloomsbury area, which provides access routes to several Colleges within the area, including SOAS and Birkbeck. Balfour Beatty WorkPlace provides total facilities management services to sites across the University of London’s entire estate. Its dedicated team, working with the University’s FM team, delivers a full range of services, including mechanical and electrical maintenance, grounds, security, reception, post and cleaning.
Of the 31 buildings that BBW manage, 14 buildings and the external precinct area were already covered by existing CCTV systems. With the safety and security of its students, visitors and guests being of prime importance, the University took the decision to embark on an improvement plan that would address any shortcomings in the existing systems and to introduce time-saving efficiencies.
BBW, under instruction from the University, put this improvement work out to tender and independent CCTV technology specialists Link CCTV Systems won the contract to project manage the operation, from survey and design through to installation and maintenance.
Link CCTV Systems’ brief was to increase CCTV coverage by providing fixed detailed views of all points of entry/exit and security reception areas and to improve the quality of the live and recorded images. At the same time, the company was tasked to improve the safety and security to the Halls of Residence buildings by way of enabling building management and security staff to remotely view high quality live and recorded CCTV images and as such, remove the need to visit each site to review footage of any incidents.
Link CCTV Systems were also awarded the contract to project manage the relocation of the University of London’s CCTV control room from Senate House in Malet Street to Stewart House in Russell Square. The existing control room was due for refurbishment and this provided an opportunity to invest for the future and upgrade the CCTV system and associated equipment, enabling the University to have a platform for growth whilst ensuring the needs of all stakeholders and students were met.
Link CCTV Systems designed operators’ workstations and a supervisor’s desk for the new location in Stewart House, as well as deploying a new CCTV control room monitor display. The company also migrated all the existing CCTV cameras to the new control room. Once again, Samsung Techwin high performance ‘real time’ digital recording equipment played a key role in the solution by providing real time recorded images for all precinct and local building cameras.
The SRD-1670DC is able to simultaneously record in real time high quality 4CIF images across all of its 16 channels. It has the capacity for five SATA HDDs, offering the potential for a massive 10TB of on-board storage and utilises H.264 compression to minimise bandwidth requirements whilst maintaining high image quality. It can also if required record audio across all channels and has USB ports for easy export of video.
Utilising an existing high performance site-wide LAN, the live and recorded images are available for the University of London Building Management teams and Balfour Beatty WorkPlace security team, by using Samsung’s Net-i Ware or SmartViewer software. By simply clicking on one of the multiple layered maps, relevant camera images can be displayed on the monitor wall or local operator’s console.
The existing control room was very small, enclosed and ineffective compared to the well designed new facility which is light, airy and spacious, and provides a platform for growth and the potential to move forward to 24 hour surveillance.
During the relocation Link CCTV supplied and installed more than 90 cameras in Senate House, Stewart House and the precinct areas, and in the process diverted approximately 400m of cabling while encountering issues such as Listed Building status, accessing cabling in underground tunnels and the logistics of moving men and equipment between buildings almost a quarter of a mile apart.