Pier Place foyer.

When ARIA Property Group was planning a new redevelopment for the 14,000sqm tower, Pier Place, its goal was to choose an access control solution that provided effortless site management – allowing those with access rights to move freely and preventing those without access rights from accessing areas they should not.

Pier Place is a vibrant multi-tenant office building in the heart of the Cape Town Foreshore, overlooking scenes of the beach, with a slice of South Africa’s famous Table Mountain in view. With 15 floors, ARIA Property Group sees more than 800 office workers, contractors, and visitors, from 14 different companies, going through their doors each day. ARIA Property Group sought to overcome the unique security challenges of a shared office building with robust access control to ensure a safe and secure environment for all.

Given there can be 1 to 4 tenants per floor, with a shared dedicated common space that includes seating, meeting, and breakaway areas, there was a real need to provide managed access. In this growing city, the busy central location of the building creates additional security concerns, including a need to keep vagrants from entering the property.

While the individual tenants decide on their own access control systems, ARIA Property Group is responsible for ensuring those who enter the building and parking facility, and wish to access a floor beyond reception, have the right to do so. ARIA Property Group decided Gallagher was the best access control solution to deliver secure site management. Gallagher’s Command Centre software platform was installed, along with security cameras at the critical entry and exit points, creating a virtual barrier around the building that has 24/7 monitoring.

According to ARIA Property Group, Gallagher’s solution provides effective security in an unobtrusive manner. People badge their access cards to a reader mounted next to each access-controlled door or turnstile. There are two points of entry for workers and visitors – one via the undercover car park, and the second is the main entrance, which has two waist height turnstiles each with a reader for entry and exit. There is also a third entry point for contractors.

With comprehensive access control in place, ARIA Property Group can operate with minimal fulltime security personnel on site. Three guards are situated on site 24/7 covering each of the external entry points, and a third-party tactical response team is on standby should a larger security situation unfold, or should support be needed outside of business hours.

Jacques Jordaan, operations manager for Pier Place says the largest security issue for the building is vagrants trying to gain access to the building.

“If anyone were to slip into the building, they wouldn’t be able to gain access past reception,” Jordaan says. “This is where we see the true value of access control – it stops unwanted intruders from accessing the tenanted floors and helps security staff apprehend these people quickly. If you do not have an access card, you cannot get past reception – it’s that simple.

“Enabling and disabling permissions is made easy with Gallagher’s Command Centre,” he says. “If a tenant ends their lease, or one of their workers joins or leaves the company, their access privileges can be added or deleted quickly and efficiently. If someone loses their access card, access privileges associated with that card can be deleted immediately.”

A comprehensive audit trail of access events is recorded in the Gallagher system and Jordaan uses these records for a range of purposes and finds the reporting function particularly valuable when tenants request a report on employee time and attendance.

“The reporting functionality of the system is very user friendly,” he explains. “It takes me 5 to 10 minutes to pull a comprehensive report on an entire floor – when staff badged in and out, and how long they took for lunch.”

If required, the Gallagher audit trail can also be matched with CCTV footage to get a full picture of events at specific times. According to Jordaan, this means the team can rest easy knowing who goes where and when.

“When you have a number of tenants’ assets to protect – workers’ safety, tenants’ intellectual property, and the equipment on each floor – it’s absolutely essential that we can monitor and manage people’s movements throughout the building,” he says.

Importantly, ARIA Property Group’s Gallagher access control solution is fully scalable, so it can grow alongside its security requirements. In the future, ARIA Property Group has the option to integrate its CCTV and visitor management system, so a full audit trail of access and security events can be maintained. Additionally, the team can look to integrate building management systems.

“We are also interested in streamlining our building management systems to reduce energy consumption, identify critical faults early, and support a shared work environment while saving time and money,” Jordaan says.

“Our reputation with our tenants has been enhanced, as they recognize that we’re taking all possible steps to ensure that their people and assets are protected. The Gallagher system is straightforward and easy to use, and with its endless integration possibilities, I’m sure we will expand our solution in the future.”

*  Big image by Guy Lerner.

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