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Bülach Town Council’s highest priority is the safety of its employees and customers. To safeguard this in emergency situations, a new alarm solution was implemented for technical alarms, threat alarms and fire alarms. This fascinating and extensive contract was awarded to Bouygues Energies & Services on behalf of the town council.

Bülach likes to think of itself as a service user-focused town with an open door policy. Having direct contact with our service users is very important to us. But even more importantly, we want to ensure the safety and security of all town council employees. The alarm system installed by Bouygues Energies & Services has completely won us over – not only because of its ease of operation and maintenance but also because of how reliable it is in an emergency.

Marc Maurer, Head of ICT at Bülach Town Council

The customer

Bülach is a vibrant location with a population of more than 22,000 and it serves as the economic centre for the Zürcher Unterland (‘Zurich lowlands’) region. As such, the town offers the best of both worlds by combining the benefits of rural life with those of an important urban hub. In addition to offering a wide range of educational opportunities, plenty of leisure activities and very good healthcare facilities along with natural areas right on the doorstep, the town also has excellent transport links. Thanks to its proximity to Zurich Airport, Bülach is also internationally connected and home to many jobs.

Facts & figures

Business unit ICT
Client Bülach town council
Location Bülach
Completion 2022

The task

Bouygues Energies & Services was tasked by Bülach Town Council with implementing an alert solution for technical alarms, panic alarms and fire alarms. After being triggered by the building management system, technical alarms are forwarded to the novaalert alarm server via a BACnet interface. The solution makes it possible to alert external service providers – such as facility management service providers or building managers – in the event of a threat or fire and to evacuate Bülach town hall, Bülach asylum centre and the building that houses KESB Bülach Nord (the child and adult protective services for Bülach North). In addition, the solution allows the situation to be escalated to external alarm centres, such as Swiss Alertis and Certas.

 

The alert solution covers around 260 people and was integrated using the novaalert desktopCLIENT and novaalert mobileAPP. As part of the implementation process, Bouygues Energies & Services evaluated all of the interface components involved (building management system/alarm server and panic alarms). To keep the alarm server administration work to an absolute minimum, the specialists at Bouygues Energies & Services linked the user management and alarm group system to the customer’s own Active Directory. They also produced the entire functional specification for the customer and coordinated all the interfaces with external suppliers and project managers.

 

A key requirement stipulated by the customer was that it had to be easy for the ICT team at Bülach Town Council to carry out maintenance work without any outside assistance. In addition, it had to be possible to view alarm reports at any time.

The solution

As part of the building project for the new Bülach town hall, Bülach Town Council opted for a new alert solution from novalink. The novaalert alarm server is installed as a virtual server within the town council’s ICT infrastructure. The building management system sends the technical alarms to the alarm server via the BACnet interface according to their level of priority. The solution keeps a check on the response times of the external facility management service providers and, depending on how long it takes them to respond or if they do not respond at all, escalates the situation to the building manager.

 

The building manager can use the novaalert mobileAPP to check receipt of the alarm notification and how long it takes to resolve the problem. To accommodate the fire and panic alarms, Bouygues Energies & Services installed novaCONNECTOR contact controllers at the following locations: Bülach town hall, Bülach asylum centre and the building that houses KESB Bülach Nord. A total of 66 panic buttons were installed at predefined workstations. When one of these buttons is pressed, it triggers a panic alarm that provides the exact location of the threat. A notification is sent from the relevant location to inform all Bülach Town Council staff and the local police force of the incident and tell them what they should do until the problem is resolved. They receive this information via the novaalert desktopCLIENT and novaalert mobileAPP. If an escalation of the situation is also triggered, an external control centre is alerted and this then mobilises Bülach police force accordingly. All panic buttons are protected against vandalism and non-functional cable connections, and they alert everyone. All components and interfaces are continuously monitored to ensure that the ICT staff are alerted in the event of a problem. Thanks to the Active Directory integration, new employees are automatically assigned to the correct alarm group using predefined profiles. In this way, the configuration process is kept to an absolute minimum.

Cutting-edge technologies

novalink is a leading manufacturer of critical event management (CEM) solutions. Its novaalert alert system resulted in all the needs of Bülach Town Council being met and enabled all the requirements to be put in place in accordance with the set time schedules. Because the alert solution is being continuously developed and thanks to the close cooperation with novalink, new technologies – such as IoT integration – can be implemented easily and efficiently.

 

Installed components:

  • BACnet/OPC gateway: Beckhoff
  • Alarm server platform: novaalert
  • Contact controllers: novaCONNECTOR
  • Alarm client: novaalert desktopCLIENT, novaalert mobileAPP
  • Panic buttons: Bosch

Result

The implementation of the novalink alert solution has provided Bülach Town Council with a modern and reliable system that significantly improves the personal safety and security of its staff and allows its buildings to be evacuated smoothly in an emergency. The project was completed to the customer’s full satisfaction.