Total Integration

New Jersey’s Prudential Center combines building security and life safety with voice, data and business systems


A Five-Alarm Fire and Security Project
Hiring a qualified team of skilled project managers was critical. By the time the general contractor brought Johnson Controls on board, the integrator had a bit more than 10 months to complete the project. The Prudential Center had already booked arena-packing rocker Bon Jovi for an opening night concert. The following night, the Devils would take to the ice for the first time in their new arena. The integration team had no time to spare.

The Prudential Center’s security and life safety systems feature smoke control and fire alarm integration. The integrator recommended a fire alarm system with voice evacuation, which is integrated with the arena’s sound and public address system as well as the arena’s house lights. In the event of a fire emergency, the system brings up the house lights and overrides the arena sound system. It broadcasts calming evacuation alerts and instructions throughout the arena, corridors and bathrooms loudly enough to be heard over crowd noise.

The Prudential Center has two intercom masters. One is located inside the security command center, and the other is located in the lot guard booth. Remote intercom stations can be found at the parking gate and service delivery entrances.

The main fire alarm panel and the firefighters’ smoke control panel are also located inside the security command center. Additional fire alarm panels are scattered throughout the facility. In a fire emergency, firefighters can access the smoke control system to ventilate smoke and pressurize escape routes with breathable air.

An All-IP CCTV System
The Prudential Center also tasked Johnson Controls with recommending and installing the arena’s video surveillance system. The building’s original specifications called for standard analog color cameras hard-wired from all points throughout the arena to a cross-point matrix switcher located inside the security command center. Johnson Controls recommended an alternative all-IP approach.

Given the many benefits of IP cameras, it is no longer a best practice to make unnecessary new investments in analog video infrastructure. Cost savings begin with installation. A length of CAT5 cable costs less than a bundle of coaxial cable, fiber, audio wire, control wire, alarm input wire, relay output wire and power cable. Once the IP network is in place, it is easy and inexpensive to install or relocate equipment. Cameras can reside anywhere on the network and require no special wiring or programming. IP video technology can deliver exceptional image resolution, and security directors have the flexibility to choose from several megapixel rates and formats. IP cameras also integrate far more easily with other devices on the LAN than analog cameras.

To address the high cost of installing analog color cameras in the arena, Johnson Controls proposed using Panasonic IP Cameras and Panasonic NVRs. All cameras are wired back to and powered by Power-over-Ethernet switches in data closets. UPS power sources back up the switches. Data then travels by fiber optic cable to the security console where a high-density gigabit Ethernet aggregation/distribution routing switch converts it to copper for use by individual workstations in the security console.

The lower cost of running standard CAT5 cable to data closets was the determining factor in choosing the IP solution.

Open Architecture
A Johnson Controls P2000 access control system serves as the primary integration platform for the Prudential Center’s security systems. It also forms the backbone of the arena’s access control and identity management system. Badge readers provide individually controlled access to secure areas and elevators.

Johnson Controls also wrote an integration script allowing the system to integrate with the Panasonic cameras and NVRs. The access control system’s full embrace of open data protocols such as BANnet, Lonmark, XML and SQL enables seamless integration of video analytics and other security subsystems, building management systems, lighting controls, human resources databases and other business systems.

When the access control system registers an access violation, pan-tilt-zoom cameras train themselves on the breach. Security operators in the command center get a live video feed, and the NVRs record video at optimal resolution. The surveillance system is also programmed to trigger alarms in the system. Preset criteria, such as motion, can bring live video of a security event to the operator’s attention.
The integration team made live digital video available to the Newark Police as well. The police department has a mobile command center. If the center pulls up to the side of the arena, a network interface jack enables it to receive a live video feed from all 130 cameras inside the Prudential Center.

Other technologies deployed included: Panasonic camera housings and monitors; an EST Fire Alarm from General Electric that includes smoke detection and annunciators; Sentrol Door Contacts from GE; card readers from HID Global; and equipment racks from Winsted.