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Town Hall install

Network cameras have been installed in Manchester in the Grade II listed Town Hall Extension and Central Library. It’s part of redevelopment of the city council’s central buildings.

Axis Communications and installer, Grantfen Fire and Security (Grantfen), combined Axis network cameras and Genetec’s Security Centre video management software. To cover the 680,000 sq ft area of both sites, the specification was for more than 200 Axis cameras.

Atul Rajput, Axis’ regional director, northern Europe said: “The civic nature of Manchester City Council’s sites means that buildings must be secure, while remaining open for public access – for meetings, enquiries, transactions and admission to other facility services – all of which can present a security challenge. The council further specified that the project must include cameras that not only delivered excellent picture quality and advanced feature applications, but that were also aesthetically pleasing and did not diminish or detract from the look of the historic buildings.

“To meet these requirements, we deployed our innovative and ultra-compact AXIS M3005-V fixed dome network camera as part of an integrated solution, featuring intrusion detection, fire alarms, a building management system, emergency lighting protocols, flood and leak detection, lift alarms and network-enabled intercoms.”

The new system replaced an assortment of legacy analogue CCTV which had been fitted over time in the Town Hall Extension and library. Both sites were controlled by various management software packages and concerns were raised that, as the historic security system aged, its vulnerabilities were becoming pronounced and it was essential that archived video footage was safeguarded.

Atul added: “Our partner, Grantfen, won a competitive tender to implement an effective IP-based video and access control solution for Manchester City Council as part of the wider redevelopment of its central accommodation, which includes a Grade II listed property and buildings of distinct architectural significance. A key priority therefore, was that any camera used in the project, must be high resolution enough to meet the council’s security requirements, but unobtrusive enough, so as not detract from the historic buildings.”

After a proof of concept trial at the start of the project, Axis was chosen as the preferred supplier. The palm-sized AXIS M3005-V fixed dome tested best in the line-up: it met the council’s requirements, combining HD-quality video, with an unobtrusive footprint. The camera’s broad-spectrum of feature-rich functionality was also crucial.

Graham Cole, operations director at Grantfen, said: “Thanks to their broad product range, partnering with Axis meant that we could use one manufacturer throughout, with one consistent user interface to achieve a high degree of synergy across the system.”

Custom integrations were designed between the Axis and Genetec systems so that alarms would be relayed to a centralised control area in case of emergencies, with procedural details added to tell security operators how to proceed in the event of an exception alarm. People counting were also included in the Central Library to allow the council to verify visitor numbers. Thanks to the manoeuvrability and range of motion of Axis equipment, cameras were able to be mounted in areas that previously had an obstructed view.

Graham said: “In the case of the Central Library entrance, mounting a camera proved quite a challenge because of the door’s unusually narrow transom, which was too small to accommodate most surveillance cameras.” The AXIS P1214 Miniature HDTV pinhole camera was fitted to account for this discrepancy and to allow discreet surveillance in this high-visibility area.

Ian Jackson, sales director at Grantfen, added: “This technology is steering Manchester City Council towards greater efficiency and improved customer service. Despite more access being granted to the public, the new security system has made the buildings feel more secure and the management team confident in the knowledge that Manchester City Council staff, visitors and important archive documentation are all being effectively protected.”

Discussions are under way to repeat the install, to cover the main mearby Town Hall building.


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