Thames Reach Employment Academy

Sympathetic Access Control for a heritage building*

Thames Reach Employment AcademyWireless locks were fitted by Choice to complete access control in Thames Reach’s Employment Academy, a Grade II listed Victorian ‘Baroque’ building.

Choice worked with architects and specifiers from an early stage to deliver to the client within an historical building.

Choice installed the latest PLAN Aperio Gateway controller hardware from Access Control Services Limited and integrated a mix of Aperio E100 and Premium escutcheons with a number of traditional wired doors, for integrated wireless security across the site.

Steven McIntosh Property Development Manager at Thames Reach says: “We were very conscious of ensuring any security measures remained sensitive to the need to create a welcoming environment for visitors on-site. It is for this reason for example that no CCTV equipment is installed inside the building. The additional issues we faced in securing the building included a need to accommodate mixed-use facilities and also to carefully respond to the intense planning restrictions placed on working with such a historical building. Aperio matched all these requirements due to its wireless nature and ability to integrate with the PLAN access control system. It’s also easy to operate and maintain for access control, saving valuable time and resource.”

To date, more than 20 Aperio units have been fitted to a mixture of door types, including a number of weatherproof Premium escutcheons installed on fire doors and emergency exits, to ensure compliance with latest industry DIN and EN standards. The Aperio devices communicate via a network of one-to-one and one-to-many hubs to maximise the controllability and security on-site.

Choice Director Peter Evans added: “The building is a mix of old and new, with the original listed building having been expanded with a modern extension. In this environment the fabric of the building must not be damaged or altered in any way. This made the use of a wireless system for some elements of the installation the only practical solution. Care and attention had to be given at every stage of the works programme to preserve the Victorian charm of the building. We worked very closely with the design team during the specification process to introduce products and integrate technologies such as Aperio that could work within this kind of building and protect its future for many years to come.”

The Aperio wireless locking allows free egress via the lock handle as and when required and the use of the same contactless smart cards on additional online doors, to ensure real time audits and instant updates of access restrictions throughout via the PLAN access control system. Damian Marsh, Managing Director of ASSA ABLOY Access Control UK: “The work with Thames Reach is an excellent example of how ASSA ABLOY and its partner system integrators work together as a successful supply chain throughout the works programme. This way we can be involved much earlier in the design process and understand the real requirements for security, which is essential in a building of such historical significance.”

* This installation was featured in Professional Security magazine.