Gopher green

A robust building management system provides environmentally-friendly security at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium


Each stadium command center features a robust video surveillance system and is tied into the central campus command center near the stadium where additional emergency personnel from the Department of Central Security can take over if necessary. The flexibility of the integrated systems not only improves safety and security, it allows university personnel to deliver it more efficiently.

This approach is especially beneficial for command center operators, who use the access control system to delegate access for 20 different types of security profiles based on user responsibilities and the type of event being monitored. The system can be monitored by a single person or as many as needed based on the occupancy load of any given event.

The University also worked with Johnson Controls and local jurisdiction to establish modified guidelines for their fire alarm sequencing procedures. Through testing and verification, based on the size of the facility, a realistic time was established for personnel to verify fire alarms before a general alarm is sounded. The IFC2-3030 fire alarm panel software was rewritten by Johnson Controls engineers to allow for the change.

Beyond Stadium Safety: Integration Across the University System

The TCF Bank Stadium construction project is a part of the larger campus-wide approach to comprehensive security and building systems integration, as well as energy management taking place at the University of Minnesota. The university serves more than 66,000 students and employs more than 18,500 staff and faculty at its Twin Cities and Duluth campuses, which feature more than 320 buildings. Throughout the University system, more than 1,500 card readers, 1,400 cameras and 10 emergency intercom systems monitor multi-campus operations.

Johnson Controls installed a multi-vendor head-end workstation to integrate a number of legacy building automation systems, which controlled 28,000 physical points. This forward-thinking step bridged the gap between disparate systems, maximized the University's return on investment, and created a migration path to newer technologies.

Committed to continued integration, the University began migrating to BACnet-compatible equipment and replacing legacy control systems with the Johnson Controls Metasys BMS. The system is now a common user interface from which nearly 60,000 physical points are monitored and controlled. It is recognized as the largest application of the Metasys system in North America.

The University has implemented stringent BACnet compatibility standards including intrinsic alarming. About 80 percent of the University's building systems operate on BACnet, which allows integration of equipment from a variety of vendors including Johnson Controls, Siemens, Honeywell, Trane, Delta, McQuay, Nexsys, Phoenix and Tridium. As older equipment is replaced over time, BACnet-compatible equipment is installed in its place.

The BACnet implementation enables the University to centrally monitor and control all building systems using the BMS system as a single-seat user interface with a Web-enabled user interface. As the university continues to upgrade to BACnet-compatible equipment, it can be easily integrated into the head-end.

Nearly 120 different University personnel use the Johnson Controls Metasys BMS to manage security and building systems across campus. While many of these users are facilities staff who access the system at a supervisory level, others use the BMS system as a tool in their daily jobs.

Regular training on system and equipment upgrades enable university staff to remain self-sufficient, while the commitment to using BACnet-compatible equipment and the BMS system's open architecture provide flexibility in purchasing. Security managers can purchase systems and equipment from a variety of vendors and have the flexibility to shop for equipment with the best value and lowest lifecycle costs.

With a goal of being one of the top research universities worldwide, the precise control and security of critical environments is paramount. The impact of unreliable building control systems on the research itself is obvious. Secondary risks include a negative impact on the ability to recruit researchers, students and to obtain grant funds. The many building control systems on campus are used to control lighting and climate systems and equipment in all these environments.

A Championship Security Solution