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 both private and social housing flats. The buildings are part of a larger complex though each apartment block is standalone. The two blocks share a main gate and there is access into both buildings from the basement car park. The two are also linked by doors on five floors that need to remain locked for security, although certain groups – cleaners, maintenance, for example – need 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 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, trades people and visitors. All features which are currently supported by 2N or 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, other 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. They 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, the 2N IP Style includes a full-HD camera and a 10” touchscreen display.

A 2N IP Verso security intercom, with multiple buttons to match the respective flat numbers, was then 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 then fitted out with a 2N Indoor View answering unit, with residents receiving video calls on its 7″ 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 home. API integration commands programmed key events to enable alert triggers to be sent from a newly supplied CCTV system with still images in the effected areas.

Paul Blundell from Systems Integrator iQual, said: “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.”