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Residential School Gets Smarter, Safer Locks

Westbridge is a Special Residential School in West Auckland that provides intensive support for children and young people with highly complex, challenging behaviour and social or education needs. Its programme is designed to support students in acquiring new behavioural skills that enable them to successfully transition back to their whānau and into a mainstream educational setting.

The campus has teaching, administration and residential buildings with multiple and complex layers of access control for staff and students. The inflexibility and lack of control in the school’s legacy mechanical key system has presented challenges over the years for facility management in terms of building security and people safety.

SMARTair Wireless Online from ASSA ABLOY has provided a simple, campus-wide electronic lock solution for greater control, safety and security. Using a simple software interface, the school assigns proximity cards to individual staff, and allows pre-set building access according to staff roles; it can open or lock different zones at different times, and set up maintenance contractors with their own cards and access restrictions.

"We essentially had a safety and security need," says Joanna Brunton, the school’s Executive Officer. "We needed to be able to discourage students from going where they didn’t need to be on-site or redirect a student who was in a heightened state from re-entering a classroom and potentially disrupting the class or causing damage. And with over fifty staff, we needed much more subtlety in assigning access permissions, which you simply can’t do with a bundle of metal keys."

The SMARTair Solution for Westbridge

"SMARTair has given the school a simple control interface where they assign which doors can be opened by which cards," says ASSA ABLOY Product Manager Nitin Nambiar. "The software sits on the school’s server and is connected to a network of nine hubs around the school. With such a system, the school can control access to areas within the school and even go for a complete lockdown should such a situation arise."

SMARTair is essentially a hub-and-spoke system and provides a real-time audit trail of which doors are being used by which staff cards. The wireless locks are battery-operated, which is what keeps the installation cost down — with no need to run wires to individual doors, only the hubs need hardwiring.

"From a facilities management point of view, the solution has done absolutely everything we wanted it to do in terms of safety, security and monitoring. It has been a massive improvement," says Joanna.

SMARTair Wireless Online is an innovative access control platform that combines wireless-enabled escutcheons and wall readers, connected hubs and intuitive management software, while still retaining the benefits of not having dedicated data cables. Having each door connected via wireless allows the user to monitor events in real-time, remotely open/close doors and automatically update access privileges.

View more information on ASSA ABLOY, including contact details.
August 2019 EBOSSNOW Case Studies
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