The Mailbox is a state-of-the-art office and retail complex situated in the heart of Birmingham, in close proximity to the city’s expanding business district. Boasting sleek store fronts for such high-end brands as BOSS, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, shoppers can also enjoy a broad spectrum of amenities ranging from cafes and restaurants, to luxury spa and beauty treatments, to the deluxe Everyman cinema.
The centrepiece of the Mailbox is the sky-lit Urban Room, which provides a contemporary space for consumers to enjoy during the day and a thriving hub for Birmingham’s social activities after retail hours. Those wishing to spend the night may check in to one of two boutique hotels. The complex also features cutting-edge office spaces and private residential properties.
Leading UK-based specialist TouchStar Access Time CCTV has been working with Mailbox successfully for over fourteen years. TouchStar took control of the maintenance contract for Mailbox’s Access control and CCTV from a previous supplier, as the system was no longer supported. After Mailbox was sold in 2011, TouchStar has maintained a close working relationship with new owners Milligan and Brockton Capital, who have overseen a £50m refurbishment of the site.
The redeveloped retail space opened in phases, starting with the expanded Harvey Nichols anchor store in July 2015, and followed by the Urban Room in October of the same year. December 2015 saw the installation of final part of the sky-lit glass roof, which protects visitors from the unpredictable British weather. As a site comprising of numerous public and private spaces, the safety of staff and customers is paramount to Mailbox’s continuing success. Catering to Milligan and Brockton Capital’s exceptionally high standards, TouchStar has sought to provide outstanding access control and CCTV solutions, upgrading and replacing systems as required by Mailbox.
How It Works
Access control is installed across all non-public areas within the Mailbox. The current system helps to control personnel access rights between staff, security and sub-letters within the complex via proximity cards. Additional access control measures within the residential area of the complex allow for the integration of barrier access control with intercoms.
TouchStar has also recently upgraded the control system and software, and replenished the access cards. The upgrade ran parallel with the Mailbox refurbishment, with TouchStar replacing the locks across the newly installed wooden and metal doors.
The access control and CCTV solutions previously operated as two disparate entities. Now, however, both systems are fully integrated across one platform, meaning the Mailbox is better able to monitor on-site incidents. In the unlikely event of a fire, the integrated TouchStar system will provide the Mailbox with the ability to automatically open doors, print a muster roll call, send out e-mails and control CCTV and pager systems.
CCTV cameras are installed in the malls external to the building and along the perimeter of the car parks and service area. This currently integrates 86 fully-functional and static cameras. TouchStar recently worked with Mailbox over a 6-month period to complete an upgrade. As with the access control solution, the upgrade ran parallel with the Mailbox refurbishment; the building work involved changing floor levels and placing a cover over the mall with a big new roof.
As part of the building work TouchStar removed the existing cameras, replaced them with the upgraded system and installed HD cameras upon completion of the work. Previously operating an analogue system, Mailbox upgraded the control equipment. Using network video recording – and the aid of analogue to digital converters – Mailbox are now operating both analogue and digital cameras.
Continued Support & Maintenance
As a company dedicated to delivering end-to-end solutions, TouchStar manages the Mailbox system specifications from installation and provides ongoing 24/7 maintenance. By providing regular preventative maintenance checks and round the clock support, TouchStar ensures that the Mailbox fulfils its duty of care to customers, staff and residents on site.
Choosing TouchStar Access Time CCTV
Robert Fuscoe, comments, "Our aim is to ensure all staff, customers and residents are within a safe and protected environment at all time. TouchStar understand both our strategic and operational objectives, providing the recommendations through to the design and support of our access control and security systems. . The strength of the relationship with TouchStar gives us absolute confidence that we have the best system in place that will continue to meet our complex requirements. We look forward to continuing our relationship with TouchStar for many years to come."