Academy of Art U Exhibits Its New Security System

The Academy of Art University has the ability to lock down entirely with all access controlled through one centralized system.

Academy of Art U Exhibits Its New Security System

Integrator Deploys 3 Specialist Teams for Project

The Academy of Art University leveraged the expertise of San Francisco-based Microbiz Security to design and install the new access control solution. Founded in 1965, the long-time HID Global partner provides consolidated security solutions including video surveillance, intrusion and access control solutions.

Microbiz recommended HID’s iCLASS SE platform, including the multiCLASS SE readers that support both its Indala low-frequency, entry-level proximity cards for physical access control, as well as HID Global’s iCLASS SE high-security smartcard credentials. The iCLASS SE platform can be used with iCLASS, MIFARE and DESFire card technology, as well as iCLASS Seos high-security smartcard credentials.

“College students do not want an ID card hanging around their neck. We are fighting that battle every day. I see NFC as a quicker way to get them to comply and carry their credential with them.” – Academy of Art University Campus Safety Director Mike Petricca

“If government agencies need access to any of the university’s locations, they can easily add them in and accommodate them,” says Dave Chritton, Microbiz president and CFO. “It can read MIFARE, which is used by government agencies, and the city of San Francisco [fire and police departments] is using the Indala format.”

Both iCLASS SE and iCLASS Seos card technology use HID Global’s Secure Identity Object (SIO) data model, which represents many forms of identity information on any device that has been enabled to work within the secure boundary and central identity-management ecosystem of the company’s Trusted Identity Platform (TIP).

TIP and SIOs enable iCLASS Seos credentials to be carried inside Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled smartphones in a managed access environment. The Academy of Art sees this as an important future capability that will be extremely attractive to students, faculty and staff who rely more and more heavily on smartphones for a variety of daily tasks. In fact, Petricca has lobbied for the university to be selected for an NFC pilot program.

“That seems like a no-brainer to me. As soon as it gets figured out, including policies and procedures sent and defined, we will leverage that to the hilt,” he says. “College students do not want an ID card hanging around their neck. We are fighting that battle every day. I see NFC as a quicker way to get them to comply and carry their credential with them.”

In the first two months after initiating deployment, the university installed approximately 40 multiCLASS readers at 14 buildings. It has since installed a total of nearly 260 readers at all campus buildings, including 17 residence halls. Every residential hall and computer lab is now protected, and the university continues to install new readers as it acquires buildings and adds or reconfigures rooms to house valuable equipment and assets.

Microbiz’s C-7 and C-10 contractor licenses allow the company to run all cabling and electrical voltage for its projects. Three separate crews are involved
in each installation. For example, at the Academy of Art a low-voltage crew mounts the head-end equipment in each building’s server or IT room. They then pull the wires out to the doors that are being electrified. Card readers are mounted and wires terminated, then pulled back to the head-end equipment. A locksmith team takes over from there to handle the drilling of doors to prepare for the installation of electrified hardware, including door strikes. Wires are terminated at the entry points as well.

“If we have to drill the doors, our door specialist can recertify them so they keep their fire rating,” says Chritton. Microbiz refers to its third team as the integrator crew, responsible for mounting and terminating PC boards. They tie in the static IP addresses and work to program the equipment into Honeywell’s Pro-Watch security management system. These specialists also work with the customer’s system administrator to build the access levels of who gets access and when, as well as aid in testing the solution.

The security management system resides on a virtual server. It talks to all of the university’s locations through its network to a Honeywell Pro-Watch 6000 IC board. It controls multiple reader boards and readers at all sites.

“All 50 locations are networked together. If you add a card, it shoots it out to all 50 sites pretty much instantaneously,” Chritton says. “Conversely, if you drop out of school, their Peoplesoft [enterprise management] system turns you off at all 50 sites pretty much instantaneously.”

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