This independent day school in Highgate, London has been secured using the latest IP audio technology in its Emergency Lockdown System.
Channing School, an independent girls’ school in Highgate, North London has recently completed work on a brand new performing arts building.
As the final phase in its Capital Challenge Development Project (a programme which has seen the addition of several new and refurbished buildings at the school) the opening of the 300 seat arts building, also coincides with the final commissioning of a state-of-the-art lockdown security system installed at the school.
Designed to ensure the safety of pupils and staff at all times, the new system was installed by Midland Communications - from a system design developed in partnership with CIE AV Solutions – featuring a 2N Audio-over-IP networked Public Address System at its core.
When the school decided to improve its security arrangements, the school bursar, Roy Hill, called Midland Communications of Tewkesbury for advice.
Martyn Phillips of Midland visited the site to carry out a site survey and offer some recommendations based on the school’s requirements. Martyn’s advice was to install a school lockdown system backed up with a solid programme of staff training in security procedures that could come into play should the school have to ‘go into lockdown status’.
The primary challenge to designing and installing a school-wide system was the architectural make up and layout of the school estate. The main school building was originally a terrace of four Georgian town houses, and while the exterior fascia has been preserved complete with original details, the interior has seen the four houses ‘knocked into one’. There were also a number of other school buildings, including the new arts building, that also needed to be incorporated into the system.
Roy Hill explains: “It was very important to us to have a fully school-wide lockdown system that was scalable and could be added to or upgraded easily. We also wanted ease of use built-in, as well as feature-rich operation that could be customised to suit our unique requirements. Not only that, when carrying out refurbishment work, we have to work around the school calendar so any system needed to be installed with the minimum of fuss and up and running in time ready for the start of term.”
Midland Communications ruled out a complete newly hard-wired solution as it would be too difficult to run new cables to integrate the various buildings into a school-wide system. To achieve the client requirements in a practical way, the company worked in partnership with CIE's team of in-house system architects to develop a proposal based around a 2N IP networked audio system.
This solution uses the existing school LAN where possible, new Cat 5 cabling and incorporating wireless elements where necessary. The installation features a communications ‘hub’ in the main reception area from where it is possible to communicate with any of the seven school ‘zones’ either separately or collectively via pre-recorded messages or live broadcasts.
The combination Public Address / School Lockdown system combines the simplicity and efficiency of conventional 100v line distributed audio from the Inter-M range, with the latest audio-over-IP technology 2N's range of NetSpeaker IP-connected loudspeakers and decoders.
Controlled from the 2N IP NetMic Zone Paging Microphone, the entire system is connected over a standard Ethernet network infrastructure, using 2N Net Decoders to connect to Inter-M DPA300Q 4-channel amplifiers in Zones 15~18; whereas Zones 19~21 are directly connected to a series of 2N IP loudspeakers. The system also features over 30 standard 100v line Inter-M WS30T-WK wall speakers.
This fully integrated system allows for complete zone control and broadcasting for public address, class change and emergency messages & tones should the school lockdown procedure be triggered.
As Martyn Phillips comments, the 2N system has proved to be the ideal solution for the project: “We’re delighted with how the installation panned out. We had some valuable help from CIE from a system design front which also meant that when we came to installation, everything went smoothly. The last zone we added was the new arts building and that was a seamless process due to the easy scalability of the 2N solution. Furthermore, should the school decide to make any additional changes or small tweaks to the system, it will be no problem to incorporate them in the future without going to the expense of a new system.”
“From my point of view,” says Roy Hill “ensuring the security of almost 700 pupils while on Channing premises is a huge responsibility. I’m delighted that we now have a lockdown system in place that allows me to discharge that obligation efficiently and safely.”
- 2N 914071E Net Mic IP Zone Paging Microphone
- 2N 914033W Net Speaker Wall-mounted Audio over IP Loudspeakers
- 2N 914013E Net Audio Decoder - Audio over IP Endpoints
- Inter-M DPA300Q 4x 300W 100v Power Amplifiers
- Inter-M MA106 60W Compact 3 Input Amplifiers
- Inter-M WS30T-WK 30W Full Range Music Speakers
Differentiating between a School Lockdown Procedure and a School Lockdown System is key to understanding the requirements necessary for a cohesive, effective solution.
Where a Lockdown Procedure is defined as an established series of actions taken, a Lockdown System incorporates those actions and a variety of resources, technology & announcements used throughout the building, to greatly improve communication and access control measures are followed through.
A Lockdown System can be divided into two main components - Communication & Access Control...
CIE AV Solutions is one of the leading developers of School Emergency Lockdown Systems. Our expert team of AV system designers and specifiers would be happy to assist and advise with any Lockdown, audio or access control projects; please call the team on T. 0115 9770075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org