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Door Entry

Access control at Leeds apartments

Working with Leeds-based installers, Dynamic Networks Group, Comelit has supplied its ViP door entry and SimpleKey access control solutions to over 150 luxury apartments at two networked buildings in the centre of Leeds. Q One and Q Two are former office blocks.

The installer fitted data-cabling infrastructure, including CAT6 and a fibre backbone in the buildings alongside internal and external IP video surveillance in communal areas. A wireless mesh network connects the two buildings . A centrally managed virtual concierge service is planned.

Visitors call residents through audio-video communication using Comelit entrance panels at ground level. As the entrances are street-facing, the equipment needed to be robust. Developers Broadley Group opted for Comelit’s stainless steel Vandalcom units, which can withstand sustained attack and have no pry points to deter would-be vandals, the product manufacturers say. The entrance panels feature back boxes with 1.5 mm galvanised sheet steel, while the buttons use minimal movement.

The panels have a modular design, meaning that functions can be added to the panel as the project develops and non-essential components can be left out. Options include numerical push-buttons, a name directory and proximity RF reader.

Residents in their apartments communicate with visitors at the entrance panels using Comelit’s Smart ViP monitors. These enable hands-free video and audio communication with visitors at ground level. The monitors feature intercom speaker units and a 3.5-inch LCD display showing images sent from the entrance panel camera.

As for access control at Q One and Q Two, Dynamic Networks opted for Comelit’s SimpleKey product, with the access readers installed on their own stand-alone network at the two buildings. Residents, staff and trusted contractors are issued with MIFARE-compatible key fobs that contain their access privileges in terms of which areas they can enter at what times. A SimpleKey reader is integrated into the Vandalcom entrance panels for resident access. For gate automation, car-owners activate other readers to open the car park gates and barriers.

Fobs are managed through management software and a USB encoder without the need to visit the site to perform common tasks, such as adding a fob or blocking and replacing a lost one. Secondary access control comes via SimpleKey (beyond the main entrances) from free-standing networked readers around the buildings. SimpleKey is also used for lift control.

Nick Stevens, Regional Business Development Manager North East at Comelit, said: “Dynamic Networks’ forward thinking in the design stages meant that it was important to “future proof” the IP investment in technology throughout the building. In the near future, the idea is to install multiple VPN’s (Virtual Private Networks). These will link the buildings together to form part of a larger strategy for Offsite Management and Remote Engineering of the buildings.”

Q One (86 apartments) is at the seven-storey Brunswick Point in the Leeds Arena quarter adjacent to Leeds Metropolitan University. Q Two (71 apartments) is three miles away in the financial district of the city. At both sites, Box Architects preserved the original external fabric, but introduced minimalist internal design.

Comelit reports that other recent installations include The Edge, a £15m development offering hotel-style rooms to international and postgraduate students at Leeds Metropolitan and other universities in the area. Dynamic Networks Group are in talks with the developer on other projects.


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