Smarter Building Case Study

The client is a registered charity and London’s largest voluntary sector resource centre for homeless and vulnerable people. The charity’s mission is to provide resources that encourage, inspire and challenge homeless people to transform their lives. The client takes its values and ethos from the teachings and example of St Vincent De Paul, a Christian and social reformer, who co-founded the Daughters of Charity in 1633. Based in London, its premises in Carlisle Place provide accommodation, catering, assessment, employment, welfare and medical support facilities for homeless people. Outreach services are also provided on a 24x7 basis and it has 16 self-contained studio flats in Montfort House, with staff support on site who specialise in helping very long term rough sleepers.

The Challenge

The client wanted to consolidate its resources, functions, supporting Infrastructure and improve its day to day operations so they decided to develop their Carlisle Place property; a Victorian building close to the Victoria bus and train terminals in central London.

The Victorian building presented a very challenging structure and fabric within which a retrofit needed to be delivered, with hidden infrastructure. Additionally, The client needed to continue to use parts of the building throughout the works and this needed to be factored into the project.
The client wanted to maintain its multifunctional environment and include:

  • Residential facilities for staff.
  • Accommodation for homeless and vulnerable people.
  • A drop in day centre.
  • Top floor high-end meeting rooms and a conference/training suite. These were intended for in-house meetings and events as well a potential revenue stream through hiring out the facilities.

The Solution

The charity chose Norman Disney Young (NDY) for the conceptual design and re-development. The main contractor, ISG, was appointed to manage the construction and refurbishment of the site as well as select sub-contractors to deliver the range of building and technology services required.

Redstone was appointed by ISG in December 2014 to deliver the physical security requirements, data network and converged network. This included:

  • Surveillance
  • Access control
  • Personal alarm
  • Telephony
  • LAN
  • Wireless
  • Audio Visual

Redstone worked collaboratively with ISG, NDY and The client to develop conceptual designs into working solutions that factored in the building fabric and operational requirements of Carlisle Place.
Additionally, Redstone developed a close working relationship with the client to ensure the solution fully supported its operational requirement. The charity's very specific requirement of three different uses for the building (residential, day centre and meeting rooms) meant that that systems needed to be isolated from each other with restricted access and capability for a landlord/tenant rentable top floor scenario.

There needed to be a phased approach to the project to ensure that existing services and facilities could be maintained and used while new requirements were commissioned. To guarantee a fully-working and effective solution Redstone pre-staged the solutions at their own facility in Buckinghamshire to make certain any integration challenges were overcome before deployment on-site.
Redstone delivered a solution for security that covered:

  • Clients - people have to be registered homeless on a database to be admitted. Access is provided via intercom displays that take a picture of the client and verify it through a database before approving access.
  • Staff - security was designed to protect staff and restrict movement and areas of access. Client access via basement entrance only.
  • 200 + volunteers and visitors; a significant daily foot fall. Panic buttons were installed for staff/volunteer security as it can be a potentially volatile environment.

To achieve this solution the technologies deployed by Redstone included:

  • A converged network that allows integration with all IP technologies including the building management and security systems.
  • Wired or wireless access for staff thus ensuring better mobility and availability around the site.
  • Wireless access control features to get around the specific challenges imposed by the building fabric.
  • Video intercoms to ensure that admittance to the facility is strictly controlled and only people registered as homeless can access the facilities on offer.
  • Fully functioning audio-visual facilities including a multi-functional suite that can be hired out to generate additional revenue for the charity.

Together these technologies provide the functionality and resiliency required for the charity to operate whilst ensuring the security of staff and visitors.

The Results

The first two phases were completed in November 2015 and the final phase is due for completion in March 2016. Redstone will continue to be involved with the charity as they have been awarded the support and maintenance contract for the technology services deployed.

The client assumed operational control of their building throughout November and December 2015. It was quickly fully operational and meeting the needs of their staff and the homeless community.

Redstone’s commitment to truly understanding the requirements and then developing the detail from a conceptual design was key to a successful delivery; this was an exceptional and unique project. Everyone involved had to deliver the project whilst keeping the charity open and running effectively, all the while ensuring the safety of the staff and providing a safe and fully functional destination for their clients. Additionally, the fabric and structure of the Victorian building presented many interesting challenges during both the design phase and the installation of the infrastructure.

There is now flexibility to support changes within the Charity’s operation that will inevitably happen over the next 20 years by the future-proofing of the IT infrastructure.