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Ark Academy

Ark Academy in Wembley is an all-through school serving almost 2,000 children from nursery through to sixth form and providing sports facilities, classroom and hall hire to the local community. ATL originally took over from the incumbent security provider to sort out problems with the school’s access control, CCTV, intruder and intercom systems, and we spent three days documenting and testing each of the faulty systems, fixing issues as we found them and quoting to replace or repair more complex issues.

We were subsequently recommended to the school’s main contractor for the design and installation of security systems throughout the new sixth form building, and began work on a compliant alternative to supply an IP/HD system that could be accessed and controlled over Ark’s LAN. We took the system specifications and calculated the number of cameras required to provide full coverage and the correct field of view.

In CCTV design it is very important to calculate a camera’s field of view: factors include camera height, target size and what the camera needs to see, along with lens angle, lighting conditions and dead spots. The system should be able to detect a person, recognise a known person and identify an unknown person, and determine a vehicle’s number plate.

Ark’s sixth form building is a standalone building within the academy’s grounds, and the intruder system needed to be set and unset both independently and as part of the whole security system. The status of the system also needed to be relayed to the central monitoring station, while the design had to be Grade 2 (all devices monitored, anti-tamper with sequential alarming).

We determined where and how the data bus was installed and designed the system to extend the data bus to the new sixth form building. We also programmed the system to form a new area within the whole system with its own users and zone programming. We then added the sixth form to the Ark configuration.

We had to provide access control to the main sixth form entrance and add this to the main academy’s access control networked system. We installed an IP network controller and added this to the access control database, where it was configured with access rights and users.

The sixth form intercom needed to allow access to the building and also to the site via both the main gate and staff gate. The intercom system required extending from the main building, and the main gate and staff gate units needed upgrading.

By calculating the distance between the sixth form and the main intercom control units, the required type of cable could be calculated along with the exact components needed to extend the additional circuits for the new building. Once installed, the intercom database was reconfigured to allow the sixth form to be integrated with the main school.

As Ark Academy’s Premises Manager, Seamus McKeon, commented following the completion of the project: “ATL very quickly sorted out all the problems caused by our previous contractor with little to no disruption to our users and we had no hesitation in recommending them to the main contractor for the installation of the alarms in our new building... Where we have needed extra works they have gone above and beyond to ensure we always have a safe environment for our children.”