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Contactless access control for Oxford college

Salto Systems : 21 August, 2008  (Application Story)
The latest in access control technology meets age old tradition at Oxford University by having Salto electronic handle sets controlled by contactless smart card technology
Contactless access control for Oxford college
New College, Oxford, has selected an advanced access solution from the leading manufacturer and supplier of access control equipment within the education sector, Salto Systems, to upgrade their security requirements. The College awarded the contract to approved Salto Inspired Business Partner, Smiths Security.

One of the largest colleges in Oxford, New College was founded in 1379 and currently has some 400 undergraduates and nearly 200 post-graduates. It occupies one of the most beautiful sites in the centre of the city and over the centuries a deal of reconstruction and much new building has taken place.

Over time there has been a great expansion of rooms for undergraduate students, and in the 1960s the Sacher Buildings for graduate students were added to the main site. More recently, additional undergraduate accommodation has been created from the original Morris Motors garage which was built in 1905 and located within the College perimeter, and this now houses 16 students and includes in-house catering facilities. The latest new residential building for graduates was opened on the Sports Ground site in 1995, five minutes walk from the main College.

"The existing security installation at the Sacher Buildings in New College is a magstripe card system and this does not provide the amount of security information the College now requires to manage the access control of students and staff,' comments Darren Bryan, Colleges Manager at Smiths Security.

"New College decided to address this situation as part of a rolling upgrade of its security facilities and enhance the system with a modern state-of-the-art Mifare contactless access system. This would need to fully capable of integrating with and working alongside the existing system until it was eventually replaced, while providing full audit trail information and control of student movement.

To achieve these objectives, we designed a highly secure and flexible access control system, installing 4 WRM9001 wall readers utilising the Salto Virtual Network (SVN) and 25 E9000 series comfort range electronic handle sets in satin stainless steel. The on-line wall readers are fitted to the main doors, controlling perimeter access, while the off-line handle sets control access to the individual student rooms. And, operating together, the system has been configured to provide built in growth capability for the College's future security and access control requirements," continues Bryan.

The E9000 handle sets read, receive and write information via the contactless Mifare cards as students enter and leave the building 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. So not only is the system easy to use, but its clever functionality also provides 90% of the benefits of a fully on line access control system at the cost of a stand alone system.

This means that as the students use their 'smart' ID cards they build up an 'on-card' audit trail enabling College management to track movement through both the off line and on line parts of the system as required. And if a card is lost or stolen it can be quickly and simply deleted from the system.

Derek Finlay, Clerk of Works at New College, said: "We chose Salto because it provides us with a great deal of information, and thus control over our security requirements. One of the features we particularly like in the Salto software is its flexibility to a change of occupant or if a control fob or access card is lost."
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