Oak Cliff Tower-Security System & Camera Upgrade
Oak Cliff Tower is a 15-story building located off of Zang boulevard that has some serious history! Construction began in 1963, and the building officially opened in January of 1965. It was built in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, was used as a fallout shelter for thousands of people during the Cold War, and became the center for commerce in the community.
The building houses diverse clientele, including a bank, attorneys, accountants, as well as the Texas Attorney General’s Dallas office. The top floor is The Orion Ballroom - a public event venue that boasts to have one of the best views of Downtown Dallas. One of the coolest aspects of the tower is the underground tunnel that takes you from a parking lot across the street straight into the ground level of the tower itself.
When you look at the outside of the tower it doesn’t seem like it has changed much since it was built in the 60s, but when you walk inside you can tell times have definitely changed. Updates are constantly being made to the 50+-year-old building to keep it up to date.
There was recently a change of ownership at Oak Cliff Tower and they wanted to make some drastic changes that included re-vamping the security and access control for the tower.
The biggest part of this project was all the planning that happened before our integrators spent any time in the building. We worked closely with the new ownership to ensure that what they wanted was both aesthetically pleasing and possible.
Of course, the bedrock of any project is the cabling and it was the bulk of the project. The cabling is the infrastructure and it ties everything together, so without it, everything else is a moot point.
This was a huge undertaking due to the age and size of the building. There was an immense amount of old cable that needed to be removed before we were able to lay the new cable. In order to ensure maximum efficiency, we had to run cable to five different locations within the 15 story building and make sure that each location is connected back to the main location via the fiber infrastructure we implemented.
The access control that was present was limited in its functionality. The entire system was not technically advanced. The main problem was that ownership was limited on what they could actually control. With the new system, we were able to allow management the capability to assign individual tenants specific levels of security.
One of the key features of the access control system that made the implementation seamless was the feature of using a cell phone as a keycard. This made providing tenants with access extremely efficient and easy. Each tenant can place their cell phone near the keypad and gain access.
Another key feature is the layers of security that the entire system has. For example, a specific tenant can have access to the garage and building at specific times, but not have access to restricted areas that also have access control.
The beauty of access control is that you have one code and that code works at every entrance. This makes it easier on everyone, only one set of numbers to remember.
One of the biggest concerns was the overall security. Most if not all of the existing cameras were non-operational.
We installed Ubiquiti dome, non-dome and pro-non-dome cameras throughout the building(inside and outside).
We also installed a Ubiquiti IR Range Extender accessory to enhance night vision and extends recording IR Range up to 75 feet.
We implemented a new audio streaming system that will allow the owners and management to play audio throughout the building. This includes Spotify, Pandora along with FM radio stations.
In order to accomplish installing this new system, we had to replace the old and outdated cabling infrastructure and update the speakers.
Unified Access Control is one of the most interesting aspects of this project. This means that employees can use the same code to get into the parking garage downstairs, upstairs and then use that code to get into the building itself. How cool is it that we were able to use state of the art technology on and inside a building that was built before phones were“smart” and portable?!