Case Studies

Aberdeen shopping centre

by Mark Rowe

Next to Aberdeen’s central railway station, Union Square shopping centre in Aberdeen, pictured, is the largest development of its type in Scotland. NG Bailey’s IT Services division was commissioned to provide the network infrastructure throughout the centre to support an integrated security solution on an IP converged network. NG Bailey commissioned a flexible, multi-vendor open platform IP solution, which was supported by a Brand-Rex copper and fibre-optic cabling infrastructure. The retail centre client sought to use IP cameras from different manufacturers and the open integration made the system easier to operate for Security at the shopping centre.

Due to the size and scale of the scheme, the IT infrastructure was designed based on an infrastructure of 13 Secondary Equipment Rooms (SER) to minimise horizontal cabling lengths throughout the building. All SERs connected back to the Central Equipment Room (CER) using diverse and resilient Brand-Rex OM3 multimode fibre-optic cables.

Approximately 1,000 Brand-Rex Cat6Plus gigaplus cables were then installed from each of the SERs to support the IP devices and various IP partners throughout the centre, including:

•IP access control
•Building management system
•Digital signage
•Visitor information kiosks
•Wireless LAN
•Two way radios
•Car park systems
•Ticket machines (pay on foot)
•Credit card payment machines
•Shop assist
•Disabled toilet alarm
•Data corporate network.

The network was delivered through a resilient Cisco chassis based core switch within the server room and supported by stackable Cisco Gigabit Ethernet Power over Ethernet (POE) enabled switches within the SERs. The overall security management software was the Milestone Enterprise Solution, which managed all security elements allowing the security control room to be managed with minimal support staff, flagging events via a purpose-built control room.

Due to the IP nature of the system, Hammerson IT could use the solution not only in the control room, but from any PC on the network and establish off-site control rooms easily. Hammerson IT also could use the further integration available from the IP security systems rather than the traditional bespoke analogue. The result left Union Square with an integrated intelligent building solution that allowed integration between security, car park, vending and communications, whilst lowering the operational cost of the building due to the open architecture of the system.

About Union Square

It has 18,000m2 of retail units, a 15,000m2 shopping park, 10 screen cinema, 5,700m2 of restaurants and catering space, a 200 bed hotel, 1,700 parking spaces and a new civic square.

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