Brighton CCTV and the British Airways i360admin
Brighton CCTV are proud to have worked on some great projects with some excellent companies over the years but installing CCTV at the British Airways i360 in Brighton will always stand out as one of the most memorable. From small beginnings, it grew into a project that stretched us to our furthest limits but still makes us smile when we think about it. The creation of the i360 itself was a remarkable feat and, now finished, it remains a unique and popular attraction.
About the i360
Billed as the world’s first vertical cable car, the i360 was designed by the same architects who created the London Eye and is intended to offer similarly stunning views. Taking visitors to an awe-inspiring 450 feet, it certainly delivers on the view even if a large percentage of it is sea. So much sea from such a height is actually an incredibly impressive vista and the new windfarm adds interest. There is much more to see than that though as the viewing pod offers 360 degree views of up to 26 miles. The pod itself is ten times larger than the London Eye pods and can accommodate up to 200 visitors at a time.
Building the i360
Our intrepid leader, Christopher Dean, knew that the building of the i360 was going to be quite something to watch but more about that in the next section. Although many of the components were made abroad, watching them brought in and put together was an impressive spectacle indeed. One very interesting difference to normal builds was the way the sections of the tower were brought in. Rather than involving lorries to bring the 17 steel tubes with a combined weight of over 1,000 tonnes to the site, they used sea freight to bring them to the UK and then used a sea barge to bring them to shore directly to the site. Because the tower was so high, using a crane to put one section on top of the other was impractical so they used a 20-storey high jack instead to lift the whole structure up and insert sections at the bottom. It took two days for each section to be lifted into place and securely bolted. The pod was brought in from France, where it was created in segments, on the Eurotunnel and assembled on site.
How Brighton CCTV got involved
As mentioned above, Christopher Dean knew that this build was going to be very interesting to watch so he suggested installing a webcam on the roof of the Hilton Metropole hotel opposite the site. He managed to get in touch with Eleanor Harris, the i360’s CEO, to put the idea to her. She liked it and the camera went up. During the build, the webcam had over 150,000 views and over 3,500 views on the day the tower segments arrived on the beach. Interested members of the public were not the only ones to view the webcam, however, as Eleanor Harris herself, her team, the architects who designed the i360 and the management team of the building company who erected it found it very useful to keep an eye on how the build was progressing. They had a lot of contact with Christopher and his team as they had to install the software to access the webcam on their laptops and they could also remotely move the camera to view different parts of the site. Use of the camera became a fundamental part of the operation and the number of visitors viewing it made it necessary for us to use a server to handle the volume of traffic with help from our friends at Astaris.
Brighton CCTV did such a good job of managing this camera and provided such an excellent service that we were first in line when it came to tendering for a security firm to install cameras throughout the site.
When we were given this job, we knew it would be a huge undertaking. Such a high-profile project with so many demanding aspects to it was always going to be a challenge. It was essential to achieve complete coverage of the tower area to reduce risk and ensure public safety. High-resolution images were vital and, in choosing the right locations for the cameras, we had to take into consideration installation difficulties, service and maintenance capability as well as being able to cope with bright scenes due to the beachfront location. Working with our technology partners, Hikvision (for the cameras) and Seagate Technology UK (to store the footage) we were able to meet these challenges. The equipment we used gave us almost unlimited configurations with 360-degree vision, motion detection, remote control movement, night vision and more. Hikvision’s equipment made it possible to have smooth, clear video streaming which is always on. Seagate’s SkyHawk surveillance drives allow all this footage to be stored with its extreme workload rating and excellent long-term drive reliability. In all, we installed 116 cameras including the outdoor cameras mentioned above and people counting cameras to measure footfall. Eleanor Harris had this to say about us:
“Brighton CCTV provided a cost-effective solution that met all of our requirements and Christopher Dean has been a pleasure to work with his friendly, ‘can do’ approach.”
Despite the hard work, stress and challenges of this project, we were delighted to be able to work on it and are very proud that we could help bring such a daring and innovative project to life. As our team has over 30-years experience installing and maintaining simple to extremely complex multi-camera systems of 150 cameras or more, we are very happy to take on all kinds of projects all over Brighton and Hove and the surrounding areas. We carry out detailed security audits and schematic planning to make sure all our installations cover every spot.
Call us now on 01273 782323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to us about your security needs.