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High security on High Street.

Encompassing a full city block in Boston's revitalized financial district, Spaulding & Slye's 125 High Street is a mixed-use project developed in partnership with the Prospect Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Travelers Corporation. By the end of 1991, approximately 1.5 million square feet of office and retail space will be available. Fully leased, 125 High Street will house approximately 4,700 employees daily and attract close to 1 million visitors annually.

The development's architectural style and quality level are expected to set the standard for other urban high-rise projects throughout the 1990s. The $450-million development consists of 30-story and 21-story office towers, as well as three renovated 19th Century buildings with approximately 15,000 square feet of retail space. The renovated buildings are integrated by a 10-story atrium courtyard.

In addition, 125 High Street includes a new municipal fire station and ambulance facility, as well as an 850-space, five-level underground parking garage with 10 loading docks.

Given the urban location and the anticipated high level of traffic, security considerations at 125 High Street are paramount. Consequently, security system issues were addressed throughout the planning process and integrated completely into the project. Specifically, this system addresses the challenge of integrating two separate security systems without compromising their individual integrity.

The integrated technologies at 125 High Street categorize it as an intelligent building: advanced telecommunications, high-speed elevators, life/fire/safety, energy management, and electronic access control systems.

Although a state-of-the-art access control system was planned for the project initially, the major tenant requested autonomous management of the security system installed to secure its 525,000-square-foot corporate headquarters. This request at the outset appeared to dictate a standalone system. However, upon review, the security systems integrator recommended a consolidated system with a software package capable of operating segregated databases. The implementation of a consolidated system serves two masters, each with a proprietary and fully protected database.

Prominent design team

Schiff & Associates of Bastrop, Texas, was retained to develop the conceptual design and specifications for the security system for 125 High Street.

The Boston office of Electronic Services International (ESI), a New York-based security systems integrator, was awarded the contract for the system's final design, installation, and maintenance. With more than 4,000 installations at government, defense, and private-sector facilities throughout the nation, ESI was well suited to address the complex security concerns presented by 125 High Street.

The access control system designed by Schiff & Associates with ESI is based on a distributed architecture. The main controller is a DEC VAX 3100 computer with eight "intelligent" field devices integrated with Weigand-type card readers. The subordinate field devices have a free-standing memory and power backup that enables them to continue monitoring alarms, as well as processing and logging access/egress transactions, even if the DEC computer fails.

There are five control stations at 125 High Street: the security desk in the 30-story tower; the security desk in the 21-story tower; the Spaulding & Slye property management office; and two stations in the complex of the Fortune 500 company.

The 25 card readers installed in the complex include those at the lobby security desks. The arrangement permits tenants to sign in and out during off hours. In addition, the elevators, which have separate banks dedicated to the multi-tenant floors and those exclusively occupied by the anchor tenant, are equipped with card readers.

The card-access security system is augmented by motion detectors. Over 40 color and monochrome CCTV cameras with automatic call up and recording features and approximately 60 two-way voice intercom stations are located at 125 High Street to provide additional security.

When an alarm is activated at any of 250 monitored points, the guard at the control station receives an immediate condition report on his or her video monitor with response instructions. This enables security to pinpoint the exact location of the alarm by calling up a graphic layout map of the project. The CCTV is focused on the location which transmits the image.

Segregating the database for the primary tenant's security program from the rest of the project provides numerous advantages. First, it eliminates the investment in two separate controllers without compromising the autonomy of the anchor tenant's security system. In addition, a common system eliminates the need for the anchor tenant's employees to carry two access cards, one card for their headquarters and a second card for the rest of the complex.

A further advantage to the use of a common system is the substantial savings realized by having smaller security staffs equipped with maximum productivity. The fully integrated technologies also eliminate any need for remote monitoring services. Finally, the running archive of access/egress transactions logged by the two systems can be cross-referenced during any collaborative investigations.

The security measures taken at 125 High Street are indicative of the security considerations that will be encountered in similar tower developments throughout the 1990s. There is a need for an efficient and effective security system that does not compromise architectural or aesthetic considerations. Others would do well to learn from the experience of 125 High Street in viewing their security needs in the future. Paul Sampson is the vice president of property management operations for Spaulding & Slye of Boston.
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Title Annotation:Spaulding and Slye's 125 High Street mixed-use development
Author:Sampson, Paul
Publication:Journal of Property Management
Date:Jul 1, 1991
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