According to its website, The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), is the UK's National Measurement Institute and a “world-leading centre of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate measurement standards, science and technology available”. Currently employing around 500 scientists, it’s based in Bushy Park in south-west London and houses 388 of the world's most sophisticated science labs.
In operation for well over a century, NPL has declared its mission as being to “provide the measurement capability that underpins the UK's prosperity and quality of life”. NPL was initially contained entirely within Bushy House but grew to fill numerous smaller buildings on the Teddington site, many of which were demolished to make way for a large state-of-the-art laboratory built between 1998 and 2007.
NPL continues to be a highly respected centre for scientific research. In 2013, David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, announced a £25 million investment in a new Advanced Metrology Laboratory at NPL. With so much important and well-funded research occurring on site, highly secure access control, is paramount.
NPL needs to be able to ensure that no unauthorised persons enter the building and those who do have access, only have access to certain areas or rooms in the building, even in the event of a power failure. They also need to record who accesses the building and specific laboratories at what times. WLS was contracted to install what was to become one of the largest access control systems in the country.
WLS engineers designed and installed a cutting-edge integrated Prowatch access control system from Honeywell Security UK on approximately 230 doors throughout the highly sensitive site, where some labs have been in lock-down for up to seven years. Honeywell’s Prowatch system is integrated with security management software and provides the level of cover and control NPL required.
WLS replaced the original failing access control and set up the new access control system to account for various different levels of access required for different members of staff. This consisted of 12 distinct groups plus subgroups, rationalised from a previous 32 groups. We integrated the Prowatch access control system with other new systems being installed and ensured integration with the existing systems NPL wished to retain.
WLS achieved a smooth transition from the old access control system to the new. We were able to maintain the functionality of the access control infrastructure at all times. The security of the facility was not compromised at any point during the access control installation process.
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