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23 August 2021

Enhancing campus security for Queen’s University


Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) is one of the leading universities in the UK and Ireland with a distinguished heritage and history.  Founded by Royal Charter in 1845, Queen’s University opened in 1849 when the first 195 students entered the magnificent new college building designed by Sir Charles Lanyon. Since then, the University estate has grown to more than 300 buildings, 700+ floor plans, and approximately 27,000 spaces.

Over the years the University has committed to ensuring a safe and secure environment for all persons working, studying and visiting the University campus.  The University Security Service provides a 24-hour security presence across the campus and is the primary contact in the event of all emergencies. The team monitors the CCTV, intruder alarm, and fire alarm systems, as well as managing the access control system.


Lava Group were tasked to replace the university’s existing Physical Security Information Management system.  Integration was required with a wide range of CCTV camera technology and other security sub-systems including intruder, panic, access control, and fire and building management alarms onto a single platform.

Lava engaged extensively with QUB project team including members from the Security and Estates teams.


On the basis of a detailed analysis of the client’s operational needs, Lava provided a tailored integrated security management system to meet the needs of the university which included the supply, installation and commissioning of all related equipment.

Utilising Tephra’s Platform; this open and scalable solution enabled Queen’s University to maintain their existing physical security investments across 300+ sites. It offered a secure management environment for all alarm and event handling, and provided the control room operators with a real time view of what’s happening, so that they could respond quickly and effectively to alarms requiring a security response.  

Given spaces within the University were continually changing, including how faculties used particular areas proved a challenge to QUB Security team.  Without regularly updated data it was significantly difficult to maintain accurate site data with an estate containing over 27,000 separate spaces.

As QUB utilised Micad’s IPR (Internet Property Register) to manage their real estate and facilities management data along with occupancy and property information, Lava integrated with the solution to provide QUB with a security convergence system that offered a single control point with a building overview, showing easy to read drawings with relevant meta data and integrated alarms.

Micad’s IPR (Internet Property Register) system provided the macro view of the estate using the client’s CAD drawings as the Single Point of Truth.  It is used to create an asset register of every space within the University.  Through the Tephra Platform, updated drawings are automatically generate for use by the QUB Security Team. The Tephra Platform generates an interactive layout, reflecting the drawings and data from the Micad IPR system to show visual notifications and site locations when alarms are triggered.

The Platform connects every night, downloading circa 700 drawings within 6½ minutes from Micad in order to maintain updated data. Each drawing is interrogated by the Tephra Platform and generates a brand-new site plan. When complete updated details are reflected in the control room consoles so that the staff have access to the latest site data.


The new Physical Security Information Management system is a central component to QUB security service and supports the University to ensure a safe and secure environment by streamlining security operations effectively. The solution provided the University with

  • An integrated security management system which gets the most out of existing security systems.
  • Real time visibility across the estate with reliable and up to date information and clear graphical visualisation.
  • Safe environment with enhanced situational awareness of what’s happening as it occurs.
  • A future proof system giving the flexibility to change room spaces, add new device types and additional devices without causing system down time.
  • Operational efficiencies with time and resource savings through importing multi-layered AutoCAD drawings to enable better organisational outcomes.

The introduction of the Tephra Platform has been a strategic asset to our security service and plays an integral part in helping to create and maintain a safe and secure university environment in which to study, work or visit.  It gives our Security team greater situational awareness and visibility and provides staff with the confidence to enable a coordinated  response when responding to an incident.

The integration of Micad’s IPR proves invaluable, preventing the duplication of drawings; saving us significant time and effort.  Simply, our security team have access to accurate space information and immediate alarm notifications from one single front end.

IT Support, QUB Estates Team

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