We re-visit Bailey Fields, Watkin Jones’ development for Fresh Student Living, to see how TLJ’s electronic access control systems are benefiting this prestigious site.
Newly opened for the 2018/19 student intake, Bailey Fields is ideally placed for both Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam, to the north west of Sheffield city centre. The site covers 3,274 sq. m and contains 543 bed spaces comprising 69 studios, 17 one-bed apartments and 457 cluster flats. The studios, apartments and clusters are further broken down into three grades based on floor space. In addition, students benefit from superbly appointed social spaces, studio rooms and courtyard areas.
TLJ installed a total of 611 ‘Identity’ RFID electronic locks on all bedroom, apartment and cluster doors. A further 36 access control readers were fitted on external doors, main entrances and communal areas. As standard, the readers were interfaced with the building’s fire alarm system to allow egress in the event of a fire. Similarly, the bedroom door locks feature emergency deadbolt override from inside the room, providing both safety and security to the residents.
All the locks and readers are operated via contactless RFID key fobs, uniquely programmed for each student based on their access permissions. So, for example, a single programmed key fob may give a student access to the main entrance, reception, communal study rooms, social space, laundry room and, ultimately, their cluster and individual bedroom. If a fob is lost or damaged, it’s easily and quickly replaced by a member of reception staff.
The locks themselves come with an enviable set of certifications and accreditations including Certifire, an internationally recognised mark of fire safety; Secured by Design, an official Police security initiative that tests beyond PAS24 standards; and full CE Marking, including FD30 and FD60 fire tests and mechanical cycle testing.
Echoing Sheffield’s formidable history of innovation and excellence in engineering, Bailey Fields attracts a high proportion of technical and engineering students. Many of these students come from overseas, attracted by the calibre of teaching at the city’s universities. In fact, around 80% of residents at Bailey Fields hail from China and the far east, meaning that physical security and safety is a huge factor in a student’s mental wellbeing.
For many of our overseas students this will be their first experience of being both away from home and in a foreign country. So it’s vital to us that they feel safe and secure in their ‘new’ home. TLJ’s key fob locks and door readers bring reassurance to the students, they feel confident that only people with the correct access permissions can get into the various buildings on site. If we need to evacuate the site for whatever reason they’re also confident that exits will be open, and no-one will be trapped inside.
The Bailey Fields site is impressive, even though we say it ourselves, and it’s important that everything that’s gone into the project is of high quality and works well, from the room fixtures and fittings to the access control system. We love the simplicity of being able to create a new key fob – and cancel an old one – if a student loses theirs. I dread to think of the cost and hassle involved if we had to use traditional keys!
Okay so we’ve had some minor teething problems with the system, I guess that’s to be expected on a project as big and complex as this one. But what’s really impressed me is the way in which TLJ’s aftersales and support service has helped us both over the phone and with site visits. Nothing’s been too much trouble.
Martin Wade, Bailey Fields Site Manager, Fresh Student Living