In the heart of the city, Lincoln College has undertaken extensive refurbishment works, to offer an exciting campus for 18,000 students, offering new courses, with latest technology and specialist areas with industry-standard equipment.

Centrepiece is the striking Abbey Building, where £5 million has been invested in converting the existing 1960’s building, to house the library, restaurant, coffee shop, new science labs and computer suites.

With so many people passing through the Campus each day, a cost effective monitoring system was required. GBSG were invited to survey the site and were successful in gaining the contract to provide the CCTV installation.

The existing camera system, which had been installed throughout the college, had become very mismatched and comprised of seven separate stand-alone systems in separate buildings, where live recorded images could only be viewed from within the individual building. This system proved that it was not usable or effective.

System Details

GBSG undertook the project to provide centralised control of the existing cameras, and added a further twenty-eight cameras, providing an eighty-five-camera system in and around the campus. The system needed to be flexible enough, so that operators would be able to view cameras from different areas of the site without having a large array of monitors. Also, security staff needed to be able to view any of the cameras from any building, when patrolling the site at night. With eighty-five cameras on site, this was going to be a complex system that needed to be simple and user friendly. Using the sites existing computer network, we installed a digital recording system, with the capacity for controlling up to 1,600 cameras. The college currently has eight digital recorders located in various buildings on the site. The units are connected to the computer network, which currently supports more than 1500 computers, thus enabling any of the cameras to be viewed on any computer on the network (subject to authority).

On-site recording is carried out with the eight, 16 channel digital video recorders, each fitted with 1TB hard discs. Each unit is fitted with a DVD Writer to facilitate the back up and saving of data and images.
This technology has been available for many years, but what makes this system different, is that it will allow the viewing of cameras from different areas and digital recorders on the same screen at the same time, providing a very adaptable and easily manageable security solution. Screen layouts can be saved, and used on one or more machines across the network. Site maps are then installed on the software, which further enhances the system, by simply clicking an area on the map to display cameras close to that area.

The users can change their selection at any time, adding or deleting views, watching the events “live”, with the option of audible recording, zooming in for closer observation, and, if the particular camera allows, control the camera to gain better or more detailed coverage.

If an incident occurs at any one location, the nearest camera can be programmed to select a chosen time (month, day, hour, minute) or a grid can be drawn on the screen which looks for activity within the field of view of the camera, enabling the system to carry out a search with the recording, which will play as if in “live” mode until stopped, and then return to “real time”.

Frames can be “frozen” and images printed, or copies of the event burned onto CD. Using an interactive white board and projection system, a video wall can be used for monitoring, allowing up to sixty images to be viewed on one screen at any time.

A CCTV system has also been installed in a smaller facility at nearby Gainsborough. It has been integrated into the system at Lincoln College, and the 2 systems are linked by a dedicated broadband connection, enabling control and monitoring of both facilities, by personnel at the Lincoln facility.

Three further colleges have now had this style of system installed, one of which has more than 120 cameras, resulting in a flexible and cost effective means of providing security, on what would normally be a difficult site.