Busy South Africa Building Integrates Custom Access Control System

Nicol Corner, based in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, South Africa, is home to a six-star fitness club, prime office space, and an award-winning rooftop restaurant. This is the first building in South Africa to have its glass façade fully incorporate fritted glazing, saving 35% on energy consumption.

Nicol Corner (Pty) LTD has developed a landmark with sophisticated design and unique architecture by collaborating with industry-leading partners and specifying world-class equipment throughout the project. This includes installing a high-spec, bespoke security and access control system. Net2 is Paxton’s flagship access control system that provides a scalable, feature-rich solution that can integrate easily with many other leading security products. The international security technology manufacturer, Paxton, has nearly 40 years of experience and has always strived to develop access control products that are simple to install and use.

Nicol Corner is a 11-story mixed-use commercial building and has approximately 22,000 m² floor area. It is estimated to have hundreds of people entering the building daily. The security requirements stipulated that the building managers needed an access control system that can manage hundreds of doors with frequent footfall and is scalable to expand when needed.

Other requirements included lift destination control to tailor access permissions to the office area, public access gym, the car park, and the restaurant. Furthermore, boom gates and an ANPR system were needed for parking entrances to streamline access for employees and visitors. The new access control system also needed to have the ability to integrate turnstiles and customer account management software for the top-rated fitness centre.

All of these requirements needed to be communicated and configured via an IP network, so the system administrators can remotely manage the site.

Net2 was recommended to the building manager at Nicol Corner due to its simplicity and ability to meet all requirements in the original brief. Intellisec was the security installation company that collaborated on the building project to provide the hardware installation while Nicol Corner’s IT technician configured the Net2 system according to their specific needs.

Kevin Topp, Nicol Corner’s Back Office Engineer, said: “Net2 has been amazingly easy to use from the onset. I was able to configure the access with no official training. I just looked at the technical documentation on Paxton’s website which has so far solved every question I have had.”

Net2 software offers centralized administration and management of sites with up to 1,000 doors and 50,000 users. It is also designed to easily integrate with many security systems, so end-users can enjoy more streamlined security for their building.

Due to Nicol Corner’s multi-purpose commercial use, it not only has employees coming and going, but also external gym members and visitors to the award-winning public facing restaurant. This means that lift destination control is important at Nicol Corner to ensure people are only given access to the floors they have permission to.

The Net2 system has been integrated with KONE Lift Destination Control System. Kevin explains: “We worked with Intreba to develop a specific software solution, which has been integrated with Net2, to enable direct communication with the KONE system.”

Nicol Corner employees and visitors present their keyfobs at the lift lobby, once their identities are verified in the Net2 system, the central lift system screen will only show the floors they have permission to access, and they will be able to choose a floor based on their Net2 security clearance.

The building’s fifth and sixth floors are occupied by the six-star gym. Turnstiles have been installed at the entrance and integrated into Net2 to manage access for Nicol Corner’s employees who can enjoy the facility as a benefit and manage access of public gym members.

Salesforce, customer relationship management software, was integrated into the Net2 system. This allows the gym reception team to add or delete gym member accounts using the Salesforce software without needing to access the Net2 software directly, preserving overall building security.

ANPR cameras have been integrated at all boom gates on the perimeter of the parking area to help speed up traffic flow and minimise bottlenecks for employees during peak hours. However, visitors are required to register at the gate to be issued a temporary token.

Nichol Corner’s system utilises Net2 Pro software to benefit from a wider range of features and benefits. One of them is the Net2Online web user interface, which allows remote management of the system.

Kevin said: “The online user interface is very intuitive to use. We have also been taking advantage of the Paxton Connect app to give us remote access management from a smartphone or tablet. This saves me time from traveling to site when needing to manage users or react to an emergency.”

Since the original installation four years ago, Kevin, with the support from Paxton’s expert product team, has expanded the Net2 system at least five times. These expansions included adding an extra floor to the system which subsequently introduced 21 additional doors, meaning Net2 currently secures 218 doors at Nicol Corner.

Kevin concludes: “We will work with Paxton again and definitely recommend Net2 to anyone needing an advanced security system with bespoke integrations to suit their individual business model.”

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