2N has upgraded a residential project in the UK to improve security and enable residents to take calls on their phones when they are not at home.

Sperry and Gilbert House are residential units providing private and social housing flats. The buildings are part of a larger complex, although each apartment block is standalone. The two blocks share a main gate and access to both buildings from the basement car park. The blocks are also linked by doors on five floors that need to remain locked for security, although certain groups such as cleaners and maintenance staff require full access.

When the decision was taken to upgrade the access control system, it rapidly became clear that the project’s requirements could only be met by the most modern IP solution with the flexibility to enable new features in line with advances in technology. One priority, for example, was to incorporate mobile apps so that residents could take calls when they were not at home. 

There was also a need to integrate the access solution with a new CCTV IP system to record incidents around the doors, such as break glass activation and failed PIN code attempts. On top of that, each block has a single lift and in the event of a lift failure, it needed to be possible to grant easy access via the other building. Other requirements included GDPR-compliant access control logs and a ‘future-proof’ system which could, for instance, enable QR code access for deliveries, tradespeople and visitors. All features currently supported by 2N are due to be released on imminent firmware releases, allowing the Systems Integrator iQual to add new features to the existing solution when they become available.

At the same time, more traditional elements were also prioritised. The access control devices needed to be highly resistant to vandalism and able to utilise existing cabling to avoid the need for re-cabling and re-decoration. It also needed to enhance the flats and the buildings aesthetically.

The residents’ association, based on their own research, identified 2N as a possible technology provider, and four different 2N devices ended up being incorporated into the access solution. Three 2N IP Style intercoms were installed at the main doors to Sperry House and Gilbert House, and at the main shared gate for the two buildings. 2N’s flagship intercom and its IP Style includes a full-HD camera and a 10in touchscreen display. 

A 2N IP Verso security intercom, with multiple buttons to match the respective flat numbers, was installed at the ground floor entrance to flats in Sperry House. Eight 2N Access Unit 2.0 access readers were also used to manage the entry to/from the post rooms and car parks and through the internal link doors. Every apartment was fitted out with a 2N Indoor View answering unit, with residents receiving video calls on its 7in touchscreen. The requested mobile phone integration was enabled by the My2N app, which allows residents to answer video calls from the intercoms remotely for a full overview of attempted visits to their homes. API integration commands programmed key events to enable alert triggers to be sent from a newly supplied CCTV system with still images in the affected areas.

Paul Blundell from Systems Integrator iQual says, “The residents really enjoy the new solution. There was a video system in place previously, but it was black and white and was difficult to operate. The video quality we have now is on a completely different level, easy to support whilst enhancing the end-user experience and the fact that they can now access video calls on their mobile phones gives the whole thing a ‘wow’ factor. Most important of all, though, the new system is fully reliable, and the upgrades significantly improve the security of the buildings.” 

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