Welsh Research Facility secured by Salto

25.06.2012 - The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) is a world class award winning research and teaching centre at Aberystwyth University, Wales. Located on the P...

The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) is a world class award winning research and teaching centre at Aberystwyth University, Wales. Located on the Penglais and Plas Gogerddan campuses, the venture brings together around 300 research, teaching and support staff to conduct basic, strategic and applied research into biology from the level of genes and other molecules to the impact of climate change and bio-energy on sustainable agriculture and land use.

Their aim is to help find workable solutions for some of humanity's most urgent challenges, both nationally and internationally. This includes human and veterinary diseases, food production and bio-energy in the face of climate change, growing populations, water scarcity and competing demands for land and IBERS is already carrying out innovative work in producing fuels from energy crops such as high-sugar grasses.

A central requirement for both project briefs was to design an architecture driven by low energy and sustainable design principles to reflect the nature of the scientific research and the University's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This has been achieved by incorporating a number of environmental features, including sedum roofs, rainwater harvesting, natural ventilation and sustainable timber cladding with a biomass boiler at Gogerddan and ground source heat pumps at Penglais - all of which helped the project achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent' rating and win two BRE national sustainable design awards.

To control access to and within both facilities, the University specified a SALTO smart access control system which has been supplied, installed and commissioned by SALTO Certificated Partner LOCK-TECH SYSTEMS, of Swansea. Working closely with the University and building contractor Willmott-Dixon, one of the UK's largest privately-owned capital works, regeneration and support service companies, LOCK-TECH installed a range of different door solutions to satisfy the broad requirements of the various teaching facilities, laboratories and public spaces that the buildings incorporate. The range of access control technologies used was instrumental in achieving the successful integration of the various systems.

With the installation of the SALTO access control system the University does not have the worry and cost of managing keys, or changing lock cylinders, but can now update, restrict or deny access to any lock remotely. This gives unmatched flexibility and a secure yet accessible site for the staff and students whilst also allowing controlled visitor access as required. Both sites used a number of SALTO XS4 Mifare proximity handle sets as well as hard-wired off-line wall readers with one on-line update point connected to the University's Ethernet network in reception to take advantage of the SVN network feature.

This allows the XS4 locks to read, receive and write information via the University's staff and student access control fobs. Since most access related information is kept encrypted on these fobs, the wall readers are able to update and receive information from the fobs at any time. So not only is the system easy to use, but its functionality also provides 90% of the benefits of a fully on-line access control system at the cost of a standalone system. The ‘smart' fobs, which are in the process of being supplemented by Mifare proximity cards, build up audit trails through normal use giving the University complete control over access and enabling them to log the movement of staff, students and visitors through both the off-line and on-line parts of the system if required. This enables a complete access profile of each individual to be established and updated at the update wall readers as necessary.

Any fobs that become lost or stolen can be quickly and simply deleted from the system just by visiting the readers with up-dated fobs. The system also greatly reduces the number of visits necessary to off-line doors, since user data is simply transferred on fobs by normal use. This eliminates the traditional need to replace locks if security is breached due to the loss or theft of a fob or card.

Ramesh Gurdev, SALTO Systems UK Managing Director, says: "At IBERS, having access security that is robust, reliable and dependable is absolutely essential for such a world class facility.

The flexibility of their new SALTO XS4 system linked to its SVN capability means the University has the ability to manage up to 4 million users and up to 64,000 doors in a single system if required, ensuring their future expansion needs are taken care of now, without having to upgrade at a later date. This means they can securely control who has access to what, where and when at all times whilst providing a secure environment for their important research programmes."



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