New York City’s next great neighborhood, the award-winning Hudson Yards is the most significant private real estate development in U.S. history. Its vast complex is a mix of residences, offices, hotels, and retail spaces, all linking to the Hudson River waterfront. Part of this complex, located above the 34th Street subway station entrance, stands 55 Hudson Yards.
Completed in 2019, 55 Hudson Yards is a 1.4-million-square-foot office high-rise. This LEED Gold-designed building stands 51-stories high and is home to various high-profile companies from legal and financial services to media, tech, and healthcare tenants. Before the pandemic, Hudson Yards was ushering hundreds to thousands of people through its portals each day.
To maintain and secure such high volume traffic coming and going commercial real estate developer, The Related Companies, L.P. “chose to raise the bar at Hudson Yards and venture into the next generation of commercial access control,” stated Brad Stewart, Project Management Professional (PMP) Design and Construction fo Related. “Entry control technologies have been a staple in building entrance control for many years, taking on forms that develop in direct correlation to, not only technological innovation but also aligned to the evolution of security threats. A staple in this solution is the turnstile, which provides the physical and psychological barrier between a controlled and uncontrolled perimeter.”
Challenge: Speed, Accuracy, Authenticity
In 2016, Brad started analyzing different concepts to optimize transactional speed by using turnstiles and unified 3rd party devices. The main challenges were credentialing, rate of throughput, accuracy and authenticity of a transaction. “We needed to find a way to process high volumes of personnel through the lanes to reduce queue buildup within the lobbies, which was occurring daily. The only way to do this was to reduce operational complexity on behalf of the user and ensure the controlled integration of the technologies within the entry control system.”
To address these challenges, Brad focused on biometric entry control integration solutions. His goal was to provide a seamless entry experience for the user while increasing security assurance. “We have internally developed systems capable of enrolling personnel within the biometric control systems anywhere in the world before they arrive on site. When a user visits, they approach the turnstile and use their pre-enrolled hand.” The result, a high level of identity assurance with a quick, seamless technology process.
55 Hudson Yards’ demanded a first-class technological solution, which called for a biometric integrated turnstile solution that enhanced user throughput while authenticating and preventing unauthorized entry. The solution was clear; Smarter Security’s Fastlane® Plus 400 MA model turnstile combined with IDEMIA’s MorphoWave® touchless 3D fingerprint technology.
Smarter Security offers an integrated treatment that seamlessly embeds the MorphoWave hardware into the base unit of most Fastlane turnstile models, providing a convenient point of integration and field deployment. “This engineering design afforded us greater efficiencies in deployment as well as saving time and money, which would have been spent building a custom design from the ground up. This design efficiency allowed us to deploy an advanced biometric entry control system in a short time.”
The MorphoWave presented itself as the logical step into biometrics as a departure from physical card credentialing systems. Traditionally, a user would present a card to a turnstile mounted card reader. With the Morphowave, the user’s hand is the authenticator eliminating the need for a card, thereby excluding an item from being lost, stolen, or copied. “We are deploying varying biometric credentialing technologies, in limited applications elsewhere on the campus, but the high user throughput, aesthetic features, and reliability of the MorphoWave units have proved to be a sound technology for entry turnstile deployment,” said Stewart.
The End Results
Schneider Electric began overseeing the east and west lobby installation for 55 Hudson Yards in the winter of 2018. It included 16 lanes of custom Fastlane Plus 400 MA turnstiles with integrated IDEMIA MorphoWave readers. In addition to the MorphoWave, three supplementary integrated technologies were added including a destination dispatch display, and proximity card and Qscan windows, which were all embedded into the stainless steel finish. Installation was completed in early 2019.
“Hudson Yards is a development heavily focused on the convergence of technology systems to improve user experience and increase the operational efficiency of our buildings. The biometric system represents Related’s commitment to providing cutting edge technology to ensure the safety of our clients and to reduced inefficiencies associated with outdated operational concepts,” stated Brad Stewart.
Feedback from visitors and end-users have been very favorable to the project. Stewart added “the deployment of “touchless” technology proved to be on a multitude of people’s wishlists, even before the pandemic, which adds value to forward-thinking and planning. By design, this project reduces contact points in heavily traveled areas and is well received as a method to improve hygiene.”
About Smarter Security, Inc.
Smarter Security provides premium and innovative entrance control solutions to help organizations protect their people and assets in a world of ever-present threats. Since 1992, Smarter Security has offered Fastlane turnstiles, the most elegant and intelligent optical turnstiles available, which protect 50% of the Fortune 100, and thousands of commercial and government lobbies on six continents, including many of the world’s most iconic buildings. For more information, please visit http://www.smartersecurity.com.
• 55 Hudson Yards
• New York City, New York
• 1.3-million-square-foot-office building
• Fastlane® Plus 400 MA