In the heart of the San Francisco financial district, the 34-story Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) building has been home to the main utility provider of natural gas and electricity for over two-thirds of northern California since 1905. Their headquarters occupies over 1.7 million square feet of real estate in the San Francisco-area across several buildings owned by the utility. Their buildings have over 8,000 people pass through them each day.
In 2010, the PG&E security team partnered with Smarter Security to deliver and install 13 Fastlane® Glasswing turnstiles with 3 FastTouch remotes across various entrances in three of their buildings. While the products continued to perform well over their nine-year lifespan, new security challenges presented themselves which prompted the company to take a renewed look at their physical security strategy.
ADDRESSING NEW SECURITY CHALLENGES
The Fastlane Glasswing turnstiles were installed at the entry of the 215 Market Street facility with the intention to create a 100% self-managed entry point. The ability for users to self-manage without the oversight of a dedicated security officer enabled the company to achieve significant ROI saving over $250,000 per year. Upon thorough video analysis by the PG&E security team, the business discovered that people were breaching the self-managed lobby turnstiles by stepping over or pushing the glass barriers open. Numerous lane violations were reported by the unsupervised turnstiles, prompting the facility to decide that it was necessary to upgrade their existing turnstiles to a tall-glass speedgate model with sensor technology that detects attempts to jump over the pedestals.
Because the PG&E building was designated as a historical landmark, the simple equipment upgrade required the approval and oversight from a Historical Preservation Committee and input from the Corporate Real Estate Strategy Services (CRESS). This diligent review of turnstile equipment and its ability to meet design and functionality requirements proved no match for the design of Fastlane turnstiles.
ACHIEVING FUNCTIONALITY AND DESIGN
Over the span of one year, the PG&E corporate security team worked with over five different stakeholder committees in the process of selecting new turnstile equipment. New turnstile equipment had to meet a stringent list of requirements: from the ability to be minimally invasive to the existing building structure, to a low-voltage electrical requirement for the building to maintain its LEED Platinum Certification.
The PG&E corporate security team reviewed potential replacement options and determined that Fastlane turnstiles from Smarter Security were the best option to meet the needs of all stakeholders. Additionally, the previous turnstile solutions installed by Smarter Security had never required a replacement part or caused a technical issue over their 10-year life span. After evaluating the tall-glass speedgates available from Smarter Security, the team selected the Fastlane Glassgate 200 as their replacement product.
The Smarter Security team served in a consultative capacity with the security team in meeting the needs of the multiple stakeholders. Starting with comprehensive 2D and 3D modeling, Smarter Security consultants were able to show the PG&E team how the Fastlane Glassgate turnstiles would look in their lobby, along with an exact color match of materials that met the design and functionality requirements of the architects and designers.
Beyond the high degree of customization options that Smarter Security provided, the install footprint was incredibly important to all project stakeholders, specifically the Historical Preservation Committee, who required minimal impact to the marble flooring in the lobby. The install of the turnstiles only required six bolts per pedestal to be drilled into the flooring, which was then able to be covered by the pedestal itself, leaving a seamless finish.
A MORE SECURE SELF-MANAGED ENTRY PROCESS
After meeting all design and technical specifications, the new install was scheduled to take place over a Friday to Sunday time period. The removal of the Fastlane Glasswing turnstiles took only 2 hours. Across the next 48 hours, Smarter Security worked with CRESS and G4S to disconnect existing cables, remove existing turnstiles, lay new cabling, install new turnstiles and integrate the new systems to the existing security infrastructure. By the start of business on Monday morning, all systems were fully-functional and aligned. Security officers were on-hand to introduce the new technology to end users. During the roll-out, not one technical issue was reported, and no complaints were received from users on the new entry experience.
The impact of moving to tall-glass barriers significantly transformed the PG&E security posture. Where users could previously jump over turnstiles when they forgot their badge or were in a hurry, pressure sensors in the new lanes trigger alarms when the gate detects a certain amount of pressure. Glass gates could no longer be physically pushed open as a brake stop now prevents that method of unauthorized access.
Beyond preventing unauthorized entry, the new Fastlane Glassgate turnstiles also can improve the life safety measures of the PG&E buildings. In possible emergency situations such as active shooters or a fire, building occupants can exit by gently pushing from inside without being required to present an access card. The new turnstiles also have a secure integration to the fire control system which allows for quick exit upon a real fire threat.
PG&E’s overarching physical security vision is a seamless virtual system, encompassing virtual management through virtual kiosks. The layered approach with intelligent optical turnstiles helps them to move towards that vision.
About Smarter Security
Smarter Security provides intelligent entrance control solutions for some of the world’s most iconic buildings and over 50% of Fortune 100 companies. Fastlane® turnstiles deliver unsurpassed throughput and the closest tailgating detection with high-end aesthetics. For access-controlled doors, Door Detective® helps prevent unauthorized entrants, tailgating, collusion and direction violations while facilitating anti-passback enforcement. Learn more at www.smartersecurity.com.
• PG&E Corporation
• San Francisco, California
Enrollment / Employees
• Fastlane® Glassgate 200