Westbridge Residential School - ASSA ABLOY | ArchiPro

Westbridge Residential School

Location: Auckland

Project: Westbridge Residential School

Product: SMARTair Wireless Escutcheons

Industry Sector: Education


After decades of managing door security manually, a residential school moves to a centralised electronic lock system for greater flexibility and safety.


Westbridge is a Special Residential School in West Auckland that provides intensive support for children and young people with highly complex, challenging behaviour and social or education needs. Its programme is designed to support students in acquiring new behavioural skills that enable them to successfully transition back to their whānau and into a mainstream educational setting.

‘We essentially had a safety and security need,’ says Joanna Brunton, the school’s executive officer. ‘We needed to be able to discourage students from going where they didn’t need to be on site or redirect a student who was in a heightened state from re-entering a classroom and potentially disrupting the class or causing damage. And with over fifty staff, we needed much more subtlety in assigning access permissions, which you simply can’t do with a bundle of metal keys.’


Moving to wireless access control and smart locks


As one of the directors of Western Lock Services, Kylie Bray has project-managed the school’s hardware maintenance for years. ‘The school were managing eighty-odd doors with locks from different eras – from the original knob handles to commercial sets,’ says Kylie. ‘It was a difficult site for them to manage and not fit for purpose for their needs.’

Kylie knew about ASSA ABLOY’s wireless electronic locking systems, so she and Joanna met with ASSA ABLOY’s Nitin Nambiar and Jason Furlong on site to look at the current situation and the school’s ideal situation. It was quickly clear that the SMARTair wireless locks and proximity cards were the natural fit in terms of school needs, costs, ease of installation and ongoing management.


The SMARTair solution for Westbridge


‘SMARTair has given the school a simple control interface where they assign which doors can be opened by which cards,’ says Nitin. ‘The software sits on the school’s server and is connected to a network of nine hubs around the school. With such a system, the school can control access to areas within the school and even go for a complete lockdown should such a situation arise.’

‘Each member of our team now has one proximity card with personalised access rights,’ says Joanna. ‘We now have the ability to set higher security for specific areas of our site, especially over the school holidays when students have gone home. Our regular maintenance contractors have their own access keys, so they can just get straight on with their work without calling us to meet them for access. This keeps both our time, and their costs, down.

‘From a facilities management point of view, the solution has done absolutely everything we wanted it to do in terms of safety, security and monitoring. It has been a massive improvement.’


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Westbridge Residential School Case Study

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