Design matters: How to design the perfect surveillance control room

Design matters: How to design the perfect surveillance control room

Any business that operates in large commercial or industrial industries requires a control room. With expensive equipment and tons of workers roaming through your doors, you can only imagine the security challenges that these businesses face. But, thanks to the latest in technology innovation, CCTV cameras with access control and vehicle tracking now enable you to oversee productions and supervise multiple business systems all from the comfort of one room.

If you have a team that is employed to monitor these rooms, it means that they will be accessing them 24-hours a day, so it’s highly important that design choices are considered when planning and implementing your access control room. Ensuring that your surveillance control room is a comfortable place for employees to work in is essential to its success and functionality.

Each company’s control room will be different and quite specific to their operations. Depending on what you choose to use your room for, you’ll need to come up with a design that is best suited for your requirements. On that note, make sure that your room plan is well-thought-out before you start the creation phrases. This will ensure that your CCTV surveillance room is fit for purpose.

Considering that modern-day control workstations are slightly smaller, more functional and more visually appealing than a few years ago, you’ll need to ensure that your room design is fit for transformation. It cannot only be built for day-to-day operations, it needs to be structured in a way that it allows upgrading.

Here are a few things to consider when looking to build a control room:

  • Size does matter

Companies tend to underestimate how much space is needed for the kind of surveillance control room they expect. The room that you choose needs to be empty and sized to fit the equipment and workstations that you are going to put into the room. Low roofs, office pillars and poorly placed walls may become a hindrance to your control room. From here you can see if you need to either downsize the equipment you’re ordering in or select a new space entirely to host your control room.

  • Consider lighting

Much like any space, lighting is a big factor that will make or break the effectiveness of a surveillance room. And although big open windows and bright overhead lighting work great for open office spaces, they can be a nightmare in control rooms. You need to try and keep your room as dark as possible.

  • Make sure everything is at eye level

The point of a security control room is to ensure that companies are able to see the monitors clearly and have access to any controls if need be. Your surveillance room should be designed in such a way that security personnel are not strained in any way when doing their job. Everything needs to be positioned comfortably to ensure security is efficient and ready for action.

  • Noise control

Noise control is one of the most important things to consider when looking to position your control room in your business. Modern control rooms interact with staff, personnel and the public. They need to be able to monitor various systems and be in touch with what is happening without being affected by external factors. Do not place your room next to the loudest department or next to the busy main road. Other factors that need to be considered are air quality and temperature, lighting, materials, windows and room shape. If they are not incorporated into your plan, they may pollute your room further down the line.

  • Usable work interfaces

The size and shape can play a big role in the efficiency of Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition  (SCADA) control rooms. Rectangular rooms provide the easiest option for equipment display and console positioning. Rooms with sharp walls and columns should be avoided altogether because it clutters the room and distracts workers.

Businesses need to understand that positioning a control room is just as important as planning out your department layout. The room needs to be clean, organised and only equipped with the necessary machinery, equipment and tables that will contribute to the workspace. When desks are cluttered with joysticks, keyboards and monitors, you may find personnel aren’t able to perform as efficiently as they could. When implementing double or triple monitor setups on personnel desks, once again make sure they are positioned comfortably and angled correctly to avoid the risk of glare and reflection.

A good way of testing your workspace efficiency is to simply test out different interfaces with employees according to ergonomics. New technologies and systems allow employers to conduct research on how an employee’s’ head, neck and eyes react to specific elements, and how it should be adjusted accordingly.

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Authored by: Pete Anderson

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