County Secures Its Facilities Through HVAC Integration
The mission of the Department of Facilities Management is to provide the residents and visitors of Collier County, Fla. with local government services that exceed expectations.
While the county has always taken security seriously, it wished to enhance its systems due to continued growth and the post-9/11 environment. “In doing this, we wanted to use a credible provider and a security system that would give us a lot of room to grow. The security management system provides us that,” said Skip Camp, director of facilities management.
According to Camp, his department is also dedicated to creating a better and safer work environment by maintaining the county’s assets and planning for future growth. Their vision is to be the most responsive, technically proficient and effective team in the facilities management field. The department is responsible for maintaining more than 660 county-owned facilities and the maintenance and repair of over 3 million square feet of building space.
Leveraging Technology for Building ControlsCollier County is over 2,000 square miles in size with facilities that can be as many as 60 miles apart from each other. “We needed a way to monitor and control the HVAC equipment in these facilities remotely to better utilize our manpower resources while meeting the needs of facility occupants and visitors,” stated Camp.
A building management system was installed in order to monitor and control HVAC systems in 18 buildings on the main government campus and other major facilities throughout the county.
“In addition to traditional HVAC controls at these facilities, the initial installation included monitoring and control of a thermal storage plant at our main government complex. But today, from the head-end at our building operations center we can monitor and control over 6,200 points including HVAC and building controls, lighting and fire alarm systems at numerous facilities,” said Kelly Campbell, building automation supervisor for Collier County.
“Having all of these systems in place and one point of contact allows us to better utilize limited resources,” said Damon Gonzales, facilities manager. “Because of this technology, we survive with a smaller staff and budget than counties much larger than Collier County.”
For example, Collier County has one craftsman per 130,000 square feet of building space versus as few as 26,000 square feet per craftsman in similar organizations.
Facilities monitored and controlled by the security system include jails, courthouses, administration offices, public safety, law enforcement and medical examiners facilities, domestic animal services, water treatment plants and even county parks and sports complexes.
“In addition to the system installation, we’ve also taken steps to implement energy savings measures. These include lighting upgrades and variable speed drives at select facilities,” reported Camp.
Security SystemsSecurity needs throughout Collier County vary as much as the types of facilities themselves. “We range from minimal security requirements at places like our sports complexes and parks to maximum requirements at jails and courthouses,” said Dennis Nolan, chief of government security for Collier County. “In addition, we house the offices of U.S. Senators, Congressmen and Representatives at our administrative facilities, making security a focal point in those buildings.”
Johnson Controls installed three P2000 systems: one for the jail, one for the courthouse and a third for the rest of the county facilities, totaling nearly 60 locations. Like the other system, all security points connected to the systems can be monitored from the building operations center, allowing interaction from security personnel when needed.
“This approach allows us to operate these facilities independently, yet interchangeably by giving appropriate employees such as maintenance and law enforcement personnel a shared facility code on their access cards,” explained Nolan.
Collectively, more than 470 video surveillance cameras and 350 doors throughout the county are monitored and controlled by the security system. In addition to video surveillance cameras and card access, the system controls elevators and gates in four parking structures. And, because the system monitors fire extinguisher and defibrillator cabinets and Code Blue emergency assistance units in these structures and other facilities, security personnel are able to investigate the reason for access, interact with the user and alert emergency personnel if necessary.
For example, every elevator in county buildings has an emergency assistance phone in it, which pings itself twice a day as a test of operations. Non-operational phones are detected by building automation personnel at the building operations center and investigated. “These phones are now part of our standards and are installed by the elevator manufacturer for our new construction and renovation projects,” said Campbell.
Expectations Go Beyond TechnologiesFollowing 9/11, Johnson Controls partnered with the FBI, Federal Marshall and local law enforcement on a plan to better secure a county office tower and parking structure that are in close proximity to a flight path.
More than 15-years ago, Collier County developed vertical standards for everything from carpet to building controls in response to significant construction and renovation within the county. “As the responsibilities of our department continue to evolve, we expect to implement new strategies and technologies,” said Camp. “We have a great comprehensive building management package that now includes everything from building, HVAC and lighting controls to fire alarm and security systems. All of which are designed around our access control needs.