BOSCH BUILDING Technologies has installed a digital public address (PA) and voice alarm system at Telford Shopping Centre. The IP-based Praesensa system now provides emergency alerts and announcements for retail stores, restaurants, hotels and a cinema located on the 25-acre commercial site.
The Shopping Centre’s operator was looking to upgrade the existing PA system with a future-proof and IP-networked solution for retail environments with two key requirements: heightening Telford Shopping Centre’s sustainability and energy efficiency, while at the same time keeping costs for the upgrade low.
Working with these requirements, Bosch partner company North AVS refurbished all existing loudspeakers installed at the Telford Shopping Centre across 16 zones via minor modifications on the end lines. As a result, system integrators merely needed to replace the obsolete control equipment – including a cumbersome call station with analogue buttons – and amplifiers.
Since the cost-effective upgrade was completed, security staff at the Telford Shopping Centre have been able to control the PA system via an intuitive touch screen interface.
Managed via OMNEO media networking technology, the software-based system combines live broadcasts and recordings from various media sources. The library includes background music in MP3 format, commercials from a message database and end-of-day Shopping Centre closing messages delivered on an automated schedule.
Automation also kicks-in during an emergency (for instance, if there were to be a fire or a security incident on site). Targeted to specific zones on the property, the PA system integrates with the fire alarm system to play pre-recorded alerts and evacuation messages. Leaving full control in the hands of the security team, personnel are able to send live voice messages and manually trigger the evacuation protocol as necessary at any given time.
As the latest in a long line of PA systems, Praesensa achieves a low energy footprint via smart power partitioning across amplifier channels. The software adapts intelligently to loudspeaker loads and divides the available output power across all channels to a maximum of 600 W. This built-in function significantly lowers overall power usage across the system’s lifetime, and notably so in the idle state (which is where most PA systems spend much of their time).
Requiring less battery standby, the system can run on only two batteries that need changing every four years (according to British Standards).
Also contributing to the system’s low energy footprint is the minimised form factor. While the legacy system occupied two rack spaces in the server room, the new solution cuts that in half. This is achieved by integrated standby amplifiers that reduce the cost – particularly for cooling – and space of the rack housing. This also provides an effective redundancy measure.
The Praesensa system delivers automated fault notification to the control desk within 100 seconds, thereby meeting EN54-16 standards for PA solutions.
Further, the system meets the latest data protection guidelines as a fully secure IP solution. All control equipment is connected via Secure IP ‘out of the box’. Safeguards include encryption and authentication for complete protection against eavesdropping and hacking. With immediate cost savings in a future-proof, user-friendly, flexible and scalable package, the system is generating interest and positive user feedback from Shopping Centre operators.
“We’re very pleased with the installation of the equipment, which caused minimal disruption,” stated Chris Titley, facility manager at Savills. “We were operational at all times during normal Shopping Centre opening hours. We’re extremely happy with the quality and operation of the new Bosch equipment. Team members are finding the system easy to use. It´s of paramount importance to have a reliable system and this is definitely ticking all of the boxes.”
*Further information is available online at www.boschbuildingsolutions.com