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RFID locks replace mechanical key system at Agricultural University

Salto Systems : 23 July, 2013  (Application Story)
Improved protection and security information has resulted from the move to RFID electronic locking system at the Royal Agricultural University in the UK
RFID locks replace mechanical key system at Agricultural University

Gloucestershire’s Royal Agricultural University has implemented a rolling security programme to upgrade and replace all its mechanical key operated locks with a SALTO RFID electronic access control solution.

Established in 1845 the Royal Agricultural University, president HRH Prince of Wales who lives at nearby Highgrove House, was the first agricultural school to be established in the English speaking world. As a leading university it offers over 40 career-focussed programmes within its School of Agriculture, School of Business and School of Real Estate and Land Management covering agriculture, equine management, business and rural land and property management and is home to a vibrant community of over 1000 students.

“The former mechanical lock installation within the university was not providing the level of protection or security information reporting required to manage the access movement of the students” comments Jim Caola, Sales Manager of Guardian Security South West, the local SALTO certificated partner.

“To prevent this a more robust product was required, one which would not only offer a greater degree of physical protection but also provide a full complement of modern access control benefits including smart card operation, audit trail information, flexible calendars, auto locking and unlocking and so on” Caola said.

Having a security solution that is reliable and dependable is obviously important for a campus housing so many young people. And with an increasing number of female students choosing to study at the Royal Agricultural University, electronic locking was found to appeal to both the students themselves and their parents as it is perceived to be safer and more secure than other forms of security.

SALTO was selected by the university as they are market leaders in education security systems, providing access control solutions to the many of the world’s top universities including Oxford, Cambridge and Princeton among others.

The result has been the implementation the SALTO XS4 platform, a single system that allows the university to integrate all staff and student physical security needs through networked stand-alone locks and on-line wall readers to provide real-time access control across campus.

This has been retro fitted into existing buildings, replacing the outdated mechanical keyed system, as well as installed into new build properties to offer an up to date security solution that delivers far greater control over who can access what, where and when and provide full audit trail accountability to resolve any access issues should these arise.

The upgrade is being carried out on a rolling project basis with all properties being fitted with SALTO XS4 wall readers and electronic escutcheons in a stainless steel finish.

The first phase consisted of two accommodation blocks fitting 2 online doors controlled by WRM9000 series wall readers at ‘hot spot’ main entranceways to control perimeter security, 20 offline bedroom doors and 4 offline office doors. The second phase saw the main building, conference rooms and services areas protected.

The third phase is seeing all residential accommodation – currently 350 bedrooms across campus - secured with SALTO. Wall readers have been fitted to all main entrance doors with the internal keyed doors being upgraded on a rolling basis. Corridor doors have timed entrance/exit times, auto locking at pre-determined times. The newest building – West Lodge – has 58 bedrooms secured with the XS4 solution as are the main car park barriers.

The campus wide system uses SALTO’s patented data-on-card SVN (SALTO Virtual Network) technology which is capable of controlling an unlimited number of users and doors in a single system.

The handle sets read, receive and write information via Mifare cards as students enter and leave the accommodation buildings and since most access related information is kept encrypted on these cards, the perimeter door mounted wall readers are able to update and receive information from the cards at any time.

This provides 90% of the benefits of a fully online access control system at the cost of a stand alone system, and as the students use their smart ID cards, they build up an on-card audit trails enabling RAU Estates management to track their movement through both the offline and online parts of the system as and when required. And if a card is lost or stolen it can be quickly deleted from the system.

Phil Wood, Facilities Manager at the Royal Agricultural University comments: “We’re very impressed with the SALTO product. Its advanced system design gives an impressive degree of control over our student accommodation security. And as this same accommodation is also used by Conference delegates during the summer months when our normal students are not in residence, the flexibility of our new XS4 system endorses the fact that we can safely and securely look after these visitors too.”

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