IP intercom and access control specialist, Castel UK, has supplied its market-leading two-way IP audio-video intercom to GBE Fire and Security for One Bedford Avenue, a £33 million mixed retail and office development in the West End of London. The project replaces a pair of redundant office blocks and encompasses 115,000 sq. ft. of accommodation, constructed to the BREEAM environmental assessment rating of ‘excellent’ in the office areas and ‘very good’ in the retail space. The site is part of general redevelopment in preparation for the anticipated completion of Crossrail in 2018.
Castel is working in partnership with systems integrators, GBE Fire and Security, to install its Xellip IP solution that will allow reception staff to see and speak with visitors prior to granting or refusing entry. Main contractors, Mace MEP, required an IP intercom that would interact seamlessly with the video management system (VMS) used for general camera surveillance, all using just a single network cable for managing audio, video, data and station power supply (PoE).
GBE specified Castel’s CAP IP-V1B-P entry stations with integrated induction loop and vandal-proof front panel. These are PoE devices with built-in miniature camera using H.264 compression technology. Sound quality is optimised by noise and echo-cancelling. Integrators are able to reduce site visits and pass on cost-savings to the client by configuring the equipment and conducting health checks remotely. An integrated MIFARE card reader for access control can be added to the stations if required.
Reception staff view and speak with visitors at the door stations using Castel’s Xellip IP intercom monitors. These are 7-inch TFT touchscreens that offer an advanced interface for automated scheduling. Like the entry stations, the monitors can be configured remotely using any Internet browser and the embedded web servers.
One Bedford Avenue is an eight-storey building on the east side of Tottenham Court Road. Architects Bennetts Associates have interspersed the facades with full-height glazing and reconstituted stone. There has been much use of metal, involving lead-coated zinc at roof level and a bronze portal and canopy at the entrance. This is reflected in the specification of the Xellip intercom panels that match with the overall aesthetics of the building.
Why Castel was specified
Stuart Hibberd, Castel’s UK Sales Director, says: “GBE knew that Castel could respond promptly to the brief of a finish that would blend with the building aesthetic. Normally we would supply intercom stations in stainless steel, but for this project we collaborated with metal-working associates to create a bronze effect on the panels. One Bedford Avenue is adjacent to the Grade 1-listed Bedford Square and every aspect of the design has been scrutinised closely.”
Hibberd continues: “The metal panel is non-standard here, but the entry stations have all the core functionality and specifications of our CAP IP-V1B-P model. This includes LEDs that comply with the Equality Act [formerly the Disability Discrimination Act], IK09 impact resistance and IP64 ingress protection, which will be vital in an area that is prone to traffic fumes.”
Comprehensive eco measures
GBE was appointed by Mace MEP to design, supply and install all life-safety and security systems for the project. In addition to the Castel intercom stations and monitors, GBE has used IP surveillance cameras by Hikvision, intruder detection by Honeywell and emergency voice communication by Baldwin Boxall.
The building has been developed by Exemplar working in partnership with Ashby Capital and The Bedford Estates. The retail space is at street and lower ground level, with business tenants occupying the other seven storeys. Sustainable measures include a vegetated eco-roof, British timber throughout and use of other locally sourced materials wherever possible.