Managed building: Einstein1 Digitales Gründerzentrum at University Hof opts for future-proof video, audio and access solutions.
This contact point for start-ups now uses IP cameras, door controllers and card readers for the various user groups in their buildings.
Einstein1, the digital start-up center at the campus of Hof University of Applied Sciences, has been the contact point for start-ups from Upper Franconia and the Vogtland district since 2017. When built in 2019, the building was equipped with network cameras and intelligent access solutions to enable various user groups to enter as autonomously as possible. Since users of the coworking areas and the rentable office space store hardware and sensitive data in Einstein1, access to the various zones of the center had to be clearly regulated around the clock.
As a digital start-up center, those responsible at Einstein1 place great value on future-proof, intelligent solutions in all matters – in particular with security. The precise definition and implementation of access authorization for different people and groups was a priority right from the start. Einstein1 brought IT system and software company ProComp Professional Computer GmbH from Marktredwitz on board to the project for support in finding optimal solutions that enable what is known as a managed building. The installation includes a total of six Axis cameras indoors and outdoors, four AXIS C1004-E Network Speakers, and an AXIS C8033 Audio Bridge on the ground floor plus a speaker on the roof terrace for events and background music.
The installed cameras are located on the roof terrace, in the stairwell, in the coworking access area, and in the bicycle area outside of the building. These are primarily intended for fire and theft protection. In addition, over thirty AXIS A1001 Network Door Controllers and 31 AXIS A4010-E Card Readers are installed next to the exterior and interior doors of the building. The elevators are also equipped with AXIS A4011-E Card Readers and Controllers.
Installation and commissioning of the entire managed building technology, including the network cameras, speakers and door controllers, went smoothly thanks to the extensive support provided by ProComp. The future viability of the chosen Axis solutions was convincing. With a four-person team, the digital startup center at the Hof University campus has been supporting regional entrepreneurs from Upper Franconia and the southern Vogtland district in the further development of their digital business ideas since 2017.
The team helps with financing issues or provides networking opportunities with key players from business, science, teaching and politics through events and activities. The center is part of the “Gründerland Bayern” initiative of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs. To give the facility space for meeting, a separate building – Einstein1 – was built at the campus of Hof University of Applied Sciences, with coworking area, startup offices, an event area and conference rooms intended to offer entrepreneurs, startups and freelancers opportunities for exchange.
We put a lot of thought into how to realize our vision of a smart building. The Axis solutions offer us a lot of flexibility for intelligent features – even in the future. It would be desirable, for example, to eliminate the need for visitors to use chip cards and for authentication to instead be possible via smartphone. Speech recognition or energy saving by means of heating and power regulation are also interesting topics – with ProComp and Axis, we have good partners by our side.
Access and security regulation for different user groups
Einstein1 consists of three large usage zones. The front area contains a meeting space that is open to all entrepreneurs as well as to all students. The second area is a coworking space that can be used by registered visitors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offers both flexible and fixed bookable workspaces. The first floor of the center houses twelve startup offices. These fully-equipped rooms, including furniture, internet and telephone system, can be rented by entrepreneurs and startups that are already in a later phase of establishment.
The different usage zones and groups created unique requirements and a challenge for access and security regulation throughout the whole center. On the one hand, Campus Hof students should be able to use the building; on the other hand, the coworking area and offices should be reserved exclusively for the entrepreneurs and start-ups.
“Surveillance of the entire building and access control for the various areas was a very complex challenge during the planning phase,” recalls Hermann Hohenberger, CEO of Netzwerk Digitales Gründerzentrum GmbH. “With ProComp, we have a partner with lots of experience by our side, who understands very well right from the start which user groups are relevant and what they should be allowed to do. Axis is also an important partner in this regard, with its flexible solutions that can grow with the center,” Hohenberger continued.
Over thirty Axis door controllers and card readers restrict access
The declared aim of Einstein1 was to create a “managed building” that regulates access autonomously and lives up to the name “digital startup center”. With the help of six Axis network cameras, audio solutions, and more than thirty card readers and door controllers, this was successfully achieved. Hohenberger describes the process as follows: “A coworker can, for example, rent a day pass online. They will then receive a QR code as confirmation that can be used to open the exterior door of the building. The associated WLAN access is then also already set up via this registration.”
One particular challenge of the project, especially with security, was the open accessibility of the Hof University of Applied Sciences. Since it has no closing days and times, access to the center had to be restricted in some other way to protect the hardware that coworkers and startups store there against theft. “Students only have access during regular opening hours. However, our ‘fixed desk’ users in the coworking area and the entrepreneurs on the upper floor have unlimited access to the building,” explains Hohenberger.
The planning of the access and security solutions also had to be compatible with the architecture of Einstein1. The center has open ceilings with visible heating and ventilation systems and a concrete core. “Cable routing and the acoustic conditions were therefore a challenge,” says Robin Fröhlich, Head of IP Video at ProComp Professional Computer GmbH. “This is exactly why it was so valuable to be involved as early as the preliminary planning phase,” he adds.
Future-proof audio solutions for indoor and outdoor events
Einstein1 and ProComp chose a number of Axis solutions to implement the managed building concept. For example, two AXIS A8207-VE Network Video Door Stations are installed on the barrier systems, combining video surveillance, two-way communication and access control in a single device. Tenants have a transponder for this to enable them to drive into the parking lot.
There are also two AXIS M3105-LVE mini dome cameras installed outside, in particular to protect the bicycles parked there against theft. Thanks to the integrated IR lighting, the cameras are ideal for situations with temporary darkness or poor lighting conditions. The main and separate kitchen and delivery entrances as well as the stairwell are each equipped with an IP door station from 2N.
On the basement level, all offices as well as the meeting and seminar rooms are equipped with the AXIS A4010-E card reader and the AXIS A1001 door controller. Because of the fire doors, it was important to have some degree of flexibility since the controllers have to be open during Einstein1’s opening hours. Card readers are also installed on the connecting doors to the individual offices on the first floor. A total of 33 door controller units and card readers were installed in the building, all coordinated and harmonized with each other. Two AXIS A4011-E Card Readers are found in the two elevators. These contactless card readers explicitly grant authorization for the respective floor.
Finally, the audio solutions play an important role. Four AXIS C1004-E Network Cabinet Speakers were installed on the ground floor of Einstein1 together with AXIS C8033 Network Audio Bridge plus an additional speaker on the roof terrace – ready for future events with background music. This is supplemented with a camera for fire protection. The recordings from the cameras in Einstein1 are stored on the AXIS Companion Recorder to facilitate possible criminal prosecution in the event of theft.
The future is heading towards smart buildings
“We put a lot of thought into how to realize our vision of a smart building. The Axis solutions offer us a lot of flexibility for intelligent features – even in the future. It would be desirable, for example, to eliminate the need for visitors to use chip cards and for authentication to instead be possible via smartphone. Speech recognition or energy saving through heating and power regulation are also interesting topics – with ProComp and Axis, we have good partners by our side,” summarizes Hermann Hohenberger, CEO of Netzwerk Digitales Gründerzentrum GmbH.