It’s clearly evident that when Land Securities Group PLC developed the One New Change shopping and office complex, creating something extraordinary was their objective.
The location in the heart of the City of London’s Square Mile, a stone’s throw from St Pauls Cathedral and bustling financial district, the striking and iconic design commissioned from the internationally renowned, Pritzker Prize winning architect, Jean Nouvel, the quality of the retail and restaurant areas and not least the welcoming atmosphere all attest to a design that works superbly in its location.
The £533 million, 564,000 sq ft development, comprising 222,000 sq ft of retail and 342,000 sq ft office space in an unusually low-rise, six storey building of 34 metres in height has been nicknamed the “stealth bomber”, with its dramatic angular lines and thousands of grey and red glass panes.
One New Change opened on 28th October 2010 with more than sixty shops and restaurants operating seven days a week and has quickly established itself as the destination for discerning shoppers and diners working and living in the City as well as drawing visitors from outside of the area.
The main shopping and eating areas span three floors with four entrances at street level, connecting Cheapside to the north, Watling Street to the south, New Change to the west and Bread Street to the east.
We met with Clive River, Security Shift Manager of MITIE, the company appointed by Land Securities to provide facilities management services at the prestigious restaurant One New Change building and Nicola Harget, Business Development Manager at PMR Products the Kenwood dealer that supplied and installed the NEXEDGE® digital two-way radio system. Nicola gives us some background behind the NEXEDGE® system installed in the building: “We were briefed by Land Securities on the requirements for the radio system which needed to be installed and fully operational in August 2010 ahead of completion of the building. The building itself, while cloaked in glass, is in fact a huge steel and concrete superstructure and although the primary requirement was to have a system for use by the security, maintenance and cleaning teams in the retail and food areas, it also had to provide coverage in the underground loading areas and throughout the office accommodation.”
The Kenwood NEXEDGE® system installed by PMR Products comprises of forty five NX-300E4 hand portable walkie talkies, battery chargers, two NX-810 base station repeaters, two NX-800E mobile radios which link the base stations between PMR Products CTR3500 interface and its SafetyNet management programme and finally, two antennas one located below the roof line and the other in the basement. The entire radio communications system is housed in the large, fully equipped control centre and is managed by PMR Product’s customisable SafetyNet Digital software. SafetyNet was first introduced by PMR Products in 1995 and subsequently proven in use in one hundred and thirty prisons across the UK and over 50 retail and industrial applications, it provides security and operational enhancements to the radio network at One New Change including voice recording and tagging, status of all radios in use, polling of users for lone worker environments and remote stunning and revival of radios.
||PMR Products SafetyNet Digital Software
Performance with 100% reliability
Steve Clarke, Managing Director of PMR Products who was closely involved in the design and installation of the system commented: “We wanted to design a radio system which delivered the high performance and availability that Land Securities wanted, but would also be capable of upgrading in the future if required. We specified Kenwood NEXEDGE® because our experience with the product in other retail applications over the past few years has given us 100% confidence in their performance and reliability, while their compact design and rugged construction is ideally suited to security and onsite facilities management applications. The other advantage of NEXEDGE® digital is that it can be configured to operate at a true 6.25 kHz – with licenses becoming increasingly difficult to secure from Ofcom in central London due to bandwidth allocation for the 2012 London Games, being able to operate equipment with no loss of performance on a narrow bandwidth was a real advantage and a very cost effective solution for our client”. On the challenges of installing the system in a building with the construction complexity of One New Change, Steve continued: “As the building was still in development when at the start of installation, we had to work around incomplete structures and carry out extensive testing to finalise the design of the system. The final installation features a cell enhancer and additional aerial in the basement, to increase coverage into the furthest recesses of the retail spaces and all the external walkways. The other significant factor was to find the best location for the aerial given the planning constraint of keeping it below the roofline of the building so that it wouldn’t blight the view from St Pauls Cathedral.”
Creating a safe and vibrant environment free from the threat of crime and anti-social behaviour.
At an operational level, One New Change poses a number of challenges too. First, its prominent location at the heart of the The City’s Square Mile demands extra vigilant security measures against a wide range of threats that other locations may not share. Equally, the extended opening hours of the complex, operating seven days a week and the fact that the thoroughfares from the four entrances to the building are open twenty four hours a day, calls for a robust and highly organised security management protocol.
MITIE’s security team at One New Change, led by Roy Bassom, the Security Service Delivery Manager, took on their role as the building neared completion in 2010 to test and bed-in their systems and processes ensuring that a first-class security management operation would be in place from the day the building opened. He commented: “The key role for my team at One New Change is to provide tourists, shoppers, visitors and workers with a positive, memorable experience from the moment they walk through the door to the time they leave. It’s imperative that at every touch point opportunity, the service delivered is personal to each customer’s needs and reflects the high standards expected from Land Securities for One New Change.”
Roy’s comments are echoed by Clive River, a Security Shift Manager who states: “Good, effective security needs to be visible to provide reassurance and deterrence in equal measure, but it should also be discrete so that it doesn’t intrude on the visitor experience. We have a team of twenty eight security personnel on site, manning the control centre, patrolling the retail floors, watching the pedestrian entrances, controlling access to the roof terrace and loading areas, responding to incidents and ensuring best security, health and safety practices are being applied throughout the building.”
Clive goes on to say: “We are extremely happy with the radio communications system installed in the building. It provides us with 98% coverage of the entire site and the radio handsets are both easy to use and incredibly durable – at this point Roy shows us his rather scarred radio – I can’t remember the number of times this radio has bounced off the floor and it has never missed a beat. I’m also impressed with the battery life on the radios; we are getting 12 hours and more from a single charge”.
The radio system provides coverage beyond the site which provides the additional benefit of being able to reach team members who are on breaks in the event of an incident.
In conclusion, what does Clive think of the radio system designed and installed by PMR Products and the Kenwood NEXEDGE® digital two-way radio equipment in use?
“Reliable, effective radio communication is our lifeline to ensuring security and safety; it’s vital to our operation and our most important piece of kit. The system and equipment at One New Change does exactly what we want!”