Shore Junction, a not-for-profit youth innovation hub at Takapuna on Auckland’s North Shore, has installed an ICT Protege solution integrating access control, alarms and CCTV.

After a recent upgrade, Shore Junction, which offers free facilities for those aged 13-24 to try new experiences in areas such as technology, enterprise, and music, contains everything to equip the next generation for success. And in a nod to its past, the dog tag memorial wall allows these youth to learn about the heritage of the former RSA site, preserving the memories of local returned servicemen and woman.

Central to this application were the ability to grant remote access, as well as remote checking of door status, disarm alarm, and viewing of video. The solution providers site management with a unified alarm and intrusion detection system delivering simple management of casual users, as well as flexible reporting for governance and funding requirements.

Shore Junction has been a youth-led community project from the beginning, driven by a co-design process. As a multi-use facility with both casual youth and business users, there were many requirements around safety, reporting, and remote access that needed to be addressed. And with a mandate to adapt to their users, it was important that any access control and intruder detection system fit the ethos of the living space and provide the flexibility to adapt to changing demands.

“We had to keep the space flexible as we didn’t know how it was going to be used,” says Shore Junction’s head of technology, Richard Ertel. “Working with ICT allowed us to build out a robust system that meets our dynamic needs – we can safely manage the space while providing secure access.”

According to Ertel, with safety a primary concern, Shore Junction can restrict access to certain types of equipment unless the user has been certified.

“We’ve got the ability to integrate with Protege GX, so for example, if the young person has completed training, we can grant access for the laser cutter on their card and they can present it to use the tool, while someone untrained can’t,” Ertel says.

As well as reporting, the Shore Junction management needed remote access to Protege GX. Initially this was so they could let users in after hours when they weren’t able to be onsite.

Centre director, Annaliese Hewitt says usage of the system has only grown.

“The great thing with Protege is we can log in remotely and check anything,” she explains. “I can check at any stage what doors are open. I can use the cameras to check who’s in the building, and I can set the alarm remotely if needed. And I can do everything from home.”

As a not-for-profit, Shore Junction is responsible for providing regular reports to their funders about the number of young people and visitors that have been into the building.

“With Protege GX, I can pull reports really easily and at any stage, I can check how many people have been in over the last day or month,” she says. “It keeps track of every young person using the check-in/check-out feature, allows me to pull reports on what doors have been opened, and shows when the alarms were set and disarmed.”

A multi-purpose space like Shore Junction has an ever-changing number of users, so it was important that the ICT solution was simple for everyone to use – from casual visitors, through to centre management. And it was also essential that time spent on regular tasks, such as changes to schedules or managing users, was kept to a minimum.

Because Protege GX is a unified solution staff and external users can enter and disarm the building in one step. When they present their card to the tSec reader, they are granted access and the alarm disarms automatically with fumbling around for an alarm code.

And as Hewitt explains, this provides an additional benefit – there’s no need to share alarm codes with external users, which is great from a security perspective. This ease of use follows through to regular tasks she needs to perform in Protege GX.

“Setting up new people on the system is really simple, whether it’s a staff or hot-desking membership,” Hewitt says. “And when new young people come in, I can quickly edit their details, add the new card number, issue it, and then they can access Shore Junction immediately.

“Youth workers are often studying so their lifestyle changes, which means we’re always having to remove access when they leave. With ICT, making these changes doesn’t become a chore. Everything in the Protege system only takes a few seconds to get sorted.”

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