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Case Studies

Digital video door entry panels

A case study of video entry and access control installed at St Joseph’s Gate, an apartment complex at a former foreign missionary college in Mill Hill, London, Grade II-listed, redeveloped by Berkeley Group.

Urmet’s digital video door entry panels communicate with touchscreen iModo monitors inside the apartments. The Power over Ethernet (PoE) external panels are Urmet’s Elekta Glass units, housed in a design that has minimal visual impact on the building, according to the makers. IPervoice has been installed across the site, with its server connected to a dedicated LAN that routes all communication between the external and internal devices supplied by Urmet. This has produced cost savings for the property management client and is also a ‘green’ approach, since only one LAN is required for access control and video entry. The iModo monitors make no dedicated cable infrastructure demands and are simply integrated with general network cable.

Access control is managed by Urmet’s PC-based concierge switchboard software, with an intuitive wizard. Residents at St Joseph’s Gate use proximity key fob tokens and car owners also have RF cards. The site manager operating the switchboard is presented with screen menu options to search for, add, delete and suspend tokens, as well as to generate reports when required. Urmet says that it worked with the installation company to create bespoke pedestrian and vehicle posts for the entry panels, with the posts finished in a black powder coat to achieve the unobtrusive visual effect desired by the client.

Residents and visitors enter via a gatehouse, staffed by a concierge. An Urmet reader with RF (radio frequency) allows activation at range by residents while they are still in their vehicles. Visitors have the choice of making a call to an apartment from the post-mounted video entry panels or via the concierge’s switchboard. Occupants answer calls at the entry panels and communicate with visitors using iModo seven-inch touchscreen monitors within their apartments. But the role of the monitors extends beyond these functions to aiding the lifestyle of users. An ‘away mode’ allows residents to receive calls made to the monitors on their smartphones and tablets when they are off-site. Families are even able to use this feature on up to four devices. The iModo can also record a message, which is then played to visitors at the external entry panel when the resident is away, or simply does not want to be disturbed.

Being server-based, the IPervoice system conducts live status sampling on the health of network devices, and network alarms are displayed on the concierge switchboard software with diagnostics presented in real-time for local or remote viewing.

Mark Hagger, Urmet’s Sales and Marketing Director, said: “An unusual feature of this project is that all of the entry panels at St Joseph’s Place are post-mounted. The building dates from Victorian times and is in the Jacobean style. This meant that the visual appeal of the exterior could not be compromised. We have successfully delivered numerous projects for the Berkeley Group previously, although mainly for new-build projects. Consequently, this restoration project was both interesting and challenging. It’s certainly one that we are proud to have been involved in.

“Urmet is fast gaining a reputation for architecturally-sympathetic installations through its agile approach and ability to supply site-specific variants to our standard products, while working to short lead times.”

In London, Urmet equipment has been specified recently at residential projects including Chelsea Creek, 375 Kensington High Street, Cobalt Place (Battersea Village), One Tower Bridge, Fulham Reach, Goodman’s Fields and the former Walthamstow Stadium.


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