Protecting The Century

Century City in Cape Town, South Africa, combines residential, commercial and retail opportunities in a more than 650-acre city within a city. Featuring the Ratanga Junction theme park and Canal Walk shopping center, the development adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward crime and has made security a top priority.

To help support Century City’s mission, officials recently chose IP-based audio, intercom and control/monitoring company Barix AG to provide intercom technology for the security system. Barix Annuncicom IP intercom and Barionet IP automation technology are being used in the new deployment.

Audiotech, distributor of Barix products in Africa, engineered, built and supplied the intercom solution for Century City while system integration company Basix Technologies of Johannesburg, South Africa, installed a wireless network spanning the property to support the installation.

“This project provides the Century City staff with the familiarity and functionality of a traditional intercom system while harnessing the power, ease of installation and flexibility of an IP-based system,” said Lawrence Bricknell, partner and co-owner of Audiotech.  “Century City has a number of controlled entrance points, linking the public roadways to the internal road network, and the security guards at these outstations rely on clear voice communication between these sites and the main control room. The security guards previously used two-way radios to contact the control room, but these suffered from misuse, damage and flat batteries. The Barix Annuncicom solution is a major improvement, and the permanent installation design means they are always on and operating.”

The property owner’s association of the development spearheaded the upgrade to security, which included CCTV cameras and intercom stations connected to a central control room via a high-speed, high-capacity wireless network backbone. The intercom specification called for a master station in the security control room capable of selectively communicating with eight outstations with the capacity to expand to 20 sites. The Audiotech solution uses Barix Annuncicom addressable IP modules, combined with standard commercial intercom stations connected to an Aiphone NEM10 intercom master station. 

“The overall installation was very simple and was finalized within a week,” Bricknell said. “The network contractor provided network points at each intercom location, where the intercom stations were plugged in for immediate operation.  The engineer who wrote the specifications requested IP intercoms not only due to ease of installation, but also to drastically lower costs.  Some of the outstations are nearly a kilometer from the control room, so digging up roads to lay cables would have been prohibitively expensive.”

About the Author

Brent Dirks is senior e-news/Web editor for Security Products and Network-Centric Security magazines.

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