Tech and the Turnstile
Located in New York City’s Financial District, 7 World Trade Center (7 WTC) was the first tower to be rebuilt after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks that destroyed the Twin Towers—part of the original World Trade Center complex.
The 52-story tower, which has 1.7 million square feet of office space, opened in May 2006. The building is owned and managed by Silverstein Properties, Inc., and is home to several high-profile tenants, including Moody’s and the New York Academy of Sciences.
Because the building is located on a symbolic site in New York City and is leased to capacity, security is a top priority for the building’s management.
“Life safety is by far the most important thing for this building, our tenants, our visitors, and our employees,” says Angelo Provvido, property manager at 7 WTC.
The tower has been using turnstiles for access to its north and south lobby entrances since it opened, but the previous solution was not ideal, Provvido explains.
“We had maintenance issues with them—they were constantly malfunctioning,” he says, adding that the turnstiles had a component that would sometimes strike people in their midsection or legs as they came in and out of the building.
Kratos, the security integrator for Tower 7, oversees maintenance of several features throughout the building, including security cameras and access control. Kratos helped 7 WTC evaluate several new turnstile options that would improve convenience for the tenants and facilitate the overall flow of traffic.
When the building came across Smarter Security’s Fastlane Optical turnstiles, management was impressed. “The slim design, the glass door features—those were all things that drew our eyes and our attention to the product,” Provvido notes.
After visiting other buildings where the turnstiles were installed, 7 WTC staff decided to integrate the solution into the building’s lobby.
Integrating the product took about a year, Provvido explains, from the time Tower 7 began evaluating options to having them custom manufactured and installed. The installation was completed in two phases: one for the north lobby entrance and one for the south lobby.
Tenant convenience was a priority for the building, so demolition of the old turnstiles began on a Friday night and was finished by Monday morning in both phases. The project was completed in April 2015.
There are eight turnstiles, two of which are handicap-accessible. To gain access, tenants present an access card above a scanner on the turnstiles, which are equipped with both proximity and bar code readers. The turnstiles have swinging glass barrier doors that open to allow the person through.
“Tenants like the new product; the old ones were more of a metal, bulkier turnstile,” Provvido says.
Another feature that improves traffic flow is pairing the employee’s profile with the floor number he or she works on. When a tenant presents his or her card to the turnstiles, an elevator from the elevator bank is automatically reserved to take that person to his or her designated floor.
“The turnstile actually tells you which number elevator in the bank will be coming down for you,” Provvido says.
When a tenant has a guest, an employee preregisters the visitor in the building’s visitor management system. Guests present their identification to the security desk, and an officer will print out a temporary badge that expires at the end of the day. The pass has a bar code that opens the turnstile, and security advises the guest what floor to go to.
When there are large events in the building with several visitors coming in at once, the turnstiles can be opened for a fixed period of time while security checks names against a list.
Kratos manages the turnstiles from the administrative side, so if there are technical issues Provvido calls the integrator to fix them. “Kratos is able to come in on short notice and make the repair and get the turnstile up and running,” Provvido explains.
Between the two installation phases, Silverstein Properties’ Chairman Larry Silverstein was able to directly compare and contrast the two turnstiles, the old and the new solutions, side by side.
“These Fastlane systems made a notable improvement in how we process the flow of our tenants and visitors,” he says. “You can feel the quality workmanship in both the aesthetics and operation.”
Silverstein Properties also owns and manages World Trade Center Building 3, which was completed in June 2016. That location, which will officially open in early 2018, has 2.5 million square feet of rentable space and will also feature the Fastlane turnstiles.
In addition to the turnstiles, which provide an effective deterrent against any would-be trespassers, 7 WTC has a fully staffed security desk during the building’s main hours.
With the old turnstiles, there was an incident where a young man jumped the turnstiles and tried to gain further access to the building. He was immediately apprehended by security, and eventually escorted away by Port Authority Police.
So far, 7 WTC hasn’t had any problems with the new turnstiles, and Provvido says the product improves business efficiency while improving security.
“You have to make sure the tenants get to their workplace in a timely manner. Everybody comes in the front doors in a rush and they are all in a race trying to get to their office space,” Provvido says. “The turnstiles secure the building, and prevent people who shouldn’t be coming in from getting through to the other side.”
For more information: Jeff Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.smartersecurity.com, 512/328.7277 ext. 228