Dual Security

Technoology protects Fifth Avenue towers in downtown Calgary

Brookfield Properties is a commercial real estate corporation that owns, develops and operates premier assets in the downtown cores of highgrowth North American cities. Signature properties define the skylines of many major metropolitan cities, including New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, Toronto and Calgary.

Brookfield Properties’ distinguished portfolio of properties attracts major financial, energy and professional services corporations that have high credit ratings and maintain long-term leases. The company’s performance through the years is distinguished by strong, consistent financial results and a track record of steady growth.

A Commitment to Quality
Commitment to excellence is reflected in the high quality of its properties and security management systems. In the early 1990s, an AMAG access control system was installed to provide security in two of the towers that constitute Fifth Avenue Place in downtown Calgary, Alberta. Upgrades occurred over the years, and the dual 36 floor towers have now deployed AMAG’s Symmetry Enterprise Security Management System.

“Fifth Avenue Place was happy with their older system and were eager to upgrade,” said Blair Robinson, an account manager at Stanley Security Solutions. “They needed a reliable, scalable system that Brookfield Properties’ staff thought was user friendly. They have been extremely satisfied with Symmetry.”

Symmetry monitors access control, door alarms and anti-passback for parking gates. It also tracks vehicle movement and activity.

Turnstiles are located at the base of the West Tower and are integrated with Symmetry. Employees and authorized visitors swipe their card, and the turnstiles allow entrance from the lobby into the main building area. Limited access is given to the server room to provide extra security. A redundant server ensures the integrity of the security management system.

Brookfield Properties implemented Symmetry’s Threat Level Manager module in the areas of the building complex that demanded heightened security. For example, in the event of a fire alarm, the control room officer would immediately implement a Level 2 security status. As a result, parking gates and stairwells are disabled to provide an additional level of security.

Tenants find the reporting capabilities an invaluable tool. Cardholder reports keep audit trails up to date. History reports provide information about room traffic and access level authorization.

“Although we don’t know exactly what incidents have been prevented because of our Symmetry system, the alarm reporting and response has kept a secure work environment for our tenants,” said Colin Best, Brookfield Properties’ manager of security systems.

Elevator Control
Symmetry controls elevator destinations among tenants. Users swipe their card across the programmed reader located in the elevator cab. The swipe switches the relays and authorizes access to the appropriate floors for that person. The user then only has access to the floor buttons where they are permitted.

“One of our tenants, which occupy multiple floors, restricts elevator access 24 hours a day,” said Andrew Hibbs, Brookfield Properties’ access systems administrator. “Our other tenants have open elevator access during business hours and restricted elevator access after business hours, which shows the flexibility of the system.”

Manning the System
Symmetry is monitored in the security control room 24 hours a day. The security control room monitors all building locations except for the major tenant’s floors that have their own partition. Brookfield Properties’ security desks are stationed in the west and east towers. The major tenant also monitors Symmetry 24/7 at a joint security station.

“We are very satisfied with AMAG’s Symmetry System; it helps us meet our security goals and at the same time serve our tenant’s security needs,” Hibbs said. “We haven’t had a request on the system that AMAG can’t handle.”

Hibbs schedules different levels of training for the security system that includes a detailed list of teaching points and action items for different scenarios. Officers are dispatched to investigate alarms and must be properly trained to handle myriad possible situations. Each security officer tested receives a certificate verifying that he or she has been trained.

“The system is extremely user friendly,” Hibbs said.

Expansion and Upgrades
Stanley Security Systems offers a wide array of integrated products, systems and services delivering efficient solutions for complex, IT-based security applications. Stanley’s enterprise approach to security is what has made it Brookfield Properties’ integrator of choice since the late 1990s.

Fifth Avenue Place and Brookfield Properties have expanded the Symmetry Security Management System many times over the years. Most recently, they have started to upgrade their panels to Symmetry M2100s and are looking to add intercom integration into their next system upgrade.

With this level of satisfaction, Brookfield Properties will be recommending the AMAG Symmetry Security Solution for many of the other buildings in its portfolio. AMAG is confident that these future systems will be as effective, scalable and user friendly as this Symmetry system is for Brookfield’s Fifth Avenue Place complex.

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