Industrial real estate holder seeks options to secure properties
- By KiChul Kim
- Mar 02, 2021
Olymbec is the largest, privately owned industrial
real estate holder on the East Coast. Managing
upwards of 300 properties in Quebec and 15 different
States in the US, they own more than 30
million square feet of property.
Managing this much real estate means that Olymbec has to
balance a variety of concerns, including providing positive tenant
experiences, generating revenue, and protecting assets. Technology
plays a key role in the company’s business strategy.
According to Jack Ross, chief technology officer, Olymbec
USA & Canada, “In today’s climate, technology reaches into
almost every area of commercial real estate.” As a result, he is
responsible for everything from building controls and IT to fire
safety and security.
As someone with a military background, security is as important
to Ross as it is to Olymbec. States Ross, “Olymbec differentiates
itself in that we have invested a significant amount of capital in
the infrastructure protecting properties and common spaces.” These
common spaces include everything used by more than one tenant,
like lobbies, elevators, entrances, and hallways and parking garages.
One of the reasons that Olymbec is investing in its security
infrastructure is that it improves rentability.
“We find that buildings that have high-end security systems
are more rentable. “Tenants are looking for more amenities,”
Ross said. “And, if there is a building that has a high-end security
system in it, while it is not the sole factor, it is definitely a contributing
factor to our rentability.”
MEETING SECURITY CHALLENGES
But, of course, a solid security infrastructure also helps Olymbec
meet a variety of security-related challenges in its properties. The
company is faced with everything from accidental damage and theft
to vandalism and refuse dumping both inside and outside their buildings.
Their security system is intended to address these challenges.
Soon after coming to Olymbec, Ross realized that the existing
analog-based camera systems were not meeting the company’s
needs. According to Ross, “When I started, our properties had
old camera systems that were scattered throughout the buildings.
I knew we needed a systematic approach that included a variety
of camera options and allowed us to view all of our cameras remotely.”
Ross began the search for alternatives.
From the outset, Ross knew what he wanted. He says, “We needed
a best-of-breed vendor because we were getting into a long and
ongoing project.” After looking at a number of different options,
the company chose Hanwha Techwin. Some of the contributing
factors were the range of products, the modularity of the solutions
and the cost, which allows Olymbec to add components easily, and
the excellent training and customer support. According to Ross,
“Security at Olymbec is very hands-on. All 10 of our security staff
are Wisenet Certified, after taking an intensive three-day instructorled
course to ensure complete familiarity with our systems.”
Olymbec deploys more than 700 Cameras across its Organization
Today, Olymbec has deployed over 700 operational cameras
and carries stock for both replacement purposes and new systems.
The deployed cameras are connected to either Wisenet WAVE in
their larger installations or NVRs in their smaller installations.
“We are very happy with the combination. It gives us the flexibility
to install a 5-10 camera system or a 50-70 camera system,
depending on the size and specific requirements of the property
being secured,” Ross said.
Another important feature is that through their VPN, everyone,
from the CTO to security staff and property managers, can access
video footage from every one of their 700+ cameras remotely from
their phones and tablets. This allows them to view footage from
anywhere at any time and gives them the flexibility to react quickly
and appropriately when an incident occurs. Hanwha cameras have
the capability to trigger alerts and alert security staff, based on a
variety of rules such as detecting motion after hours.
With their exceptional image quality, Hanwha cameras help to
protect Olymbec against liability claims. This was the case when
one of the company’s properties was threatened with a lawsuit
when a tenant fell in the lobby. The incident was captured by one
of the cameras, and security personnel were able to zoom in on
the tenant’s ankle to prove that the company was not at fault.
The company has spent ¾ of a million dollars on equipment
from Hanwha to deploy its new security infrastructure. The result
is a robust, homogenous environment that makes it easy to manage
and add new camera systems to its properties.
MULTI-SENSOR CAMERAS FOR HIGH-QUALITY VIDEO
Olymbec’s approach to security is quite unique. “Generally, our
cameras are not monitored 24/7. They are used either as a deterrent
or after-the-fact for investigative purposes,” Ross said. This means
that the company relies heavily on the quality of the video feed.
To capture the best possible video, Ross decided to go with multi-sensor,
multi-directional cameras, which are deployed across the
company’s properties. “I’m a big fan of multi-sensor cameras. They
allow us to cover a very wide area with just a single device,” he said.
When it comes to deploying cameras, Ross has a number of
different strategies. To cover a building, for example, he installs
a single multi-sensor dome on a corner instead of four separate
cameras. To cover parking lots from tall buildings, he installs a
multi-sensor camera on the roof using a goose-neck arm, covering
the entire lot with just one device.
SUPPORTING LAW ENFORCEMENT
The multi-sensor cameras also work very well
when it comes time to pull footage. This is especially
helpful because Olymbec’s security
department receives video requests from law
enforcement four to five times each month.
This article originally appeared in the March 2021 issue of Security Today.