Catalyst Science Discovery Centre (The Catalyst) is a science centre and museum with a chemistry and industry theme. Based at Spike Island in Widnes, Cheshire the five-storey building houses a 3D theatre and rooftop observatory offering views over the River Mersey.
Already secured with an intruder alarm, The Catalyst (in partnership with the local ward councillors) required a video surveillance system to help reduce security incidents on Spike Island and deter vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
In addition, The Catalyst’s rooftop observatory offers visitors sensational views over Widnes, Runcorn and Merseyside with a birds-eye view of major regeneration, which includes the Mersey Gateway Project – a six lane toll bridge over the River Mersey. By installing a video surveillance system, the museum can use its high quality video to give visitors a great experience of this regeneration project.
"Funding for video surveillance equipment gave us the ability to offer our visitors better views of the regeneration from the observatory, highlighting the heritage of Widnes. Using an interactive touchscreen, visitors are able to zoom into distant objects and explore the local landscape," explained Paul Meara, Technical Officer at The Catalyst.
Implementation of the new security system was subject to a preliminary assessment carried out by local installers Select Security, taking into account the client's needs and particular features of the site.
Following this assessment, the decision was taken to choose a Honeywell solution comprising a 1080p IP 22x optical zoom PTZ camera from the HDZ series and an embedded Network Video Recorder (NVR) kit with bullet cameras from Honeywell’s Performance Range.
In this instance the NVR is being used as a recording platform for the HDZ, meaning all aspects of the system can be controlled via the recorder.
High quality video
The upgraded system delivers clear, crisp and concise images that not only identify and record incidents and provide actionable evidence, but also provide an excellent resource for The Catalyst and an attraction for visitors enabling them to view detailed images of the regeneration project.
Thanks to the Embedded NVRs user-friendly set up and configuration wizard, the new CCTV system was installed very quickly and offers a flexible storage providing The Catalyst with the option to safely save images to an external network storage such as an ftp site for use in prosecutions should the need arise.
Staying focused in any weather
With the camera secured on the corner of the fourth floor of The Catalyst overlooking the north bank of the River Mersey, weather conditions can be problematic. The HDZ PTZ camera’s built-in Electronic Image Stabilizer (EIS) provides a stable platform for use in extreme conditions such as high wind.
Continuous video footage
Having an on-board camera storage option means that in the event of a network crash the camera triggers automatically to record onto a Micro SD card. This offers the additional peace of mind that the museum always has reliable, useable footage of any security incident or anti-social behaviour.
Installation made easy
As there’s no need for electrical intervention to install the external HDZ camera, Select were able to quickly and easily fit the new surveillance system. Installers can save up to 30 minutes on every HDZ unit fitted because both the camera unit and heater can be run without the need to install additional units (PSUs).
"A key consideration for us when choosing our security system was cost. This retro fit was on a smaller scale compared to what Select were used to, however with support from Honeywell, we achieved cost savings because of the ease and time it took to fit." explained Paul Meara.
"Although the product and system concept worked really well, Select Security still needed to use their expertise in delivering this project safely particularly in engineering a solution to install the PTZ bracket on the 4th floor gantry. This was an interesting project to deliver whilst working very closely with Honeywell." Andy Miller, Select Security Operations Manager.
Partner of choice
When looking for suppliers, local authorities often place emphasis on wanting to work with local suppliers. Select Security are a north-west based security installer and Service Provider who already had an established relationship with The Catalyst. When they were approached to advise on a video surveillance system they had no hesitation in recommending Honeywell to partner with in the project.
Installation of the video surveillance system has already reaped rewards three-fold. In the short time the system has been in operation, local police have taken the footage to help in their investigations of an incident in a nearby park.
In terms of enhancing visitor experience, The Catalyst has received positive feedback on the HDZ camera’s zoom technology and it has become the main attraction within its observatory.
Finally, having footage of the Mersey Gateway Project whilst it’s under construction and the ever changing landscape is of significant local historical importance.
- HDZ PTZ camera
- Embedded NVR kit