Securing Unity Place: The Integration Of High-Security Shutters In Santander’s Campus

Situated in the heart of Milton Keynes, Unity Place is the new state-of-the-art digital workplace for Santander UK, nurturing collaboration, wellbeing and community.

Environmental features have been incorporated throughout the building, including rainwater harvesting, using recycled materials, and the extensive use of solar panels.

The new 500,000 sq ft development has a range of accommodations suitable for retail, leisure, and office use and the flagship Santander campus sits alongside a food market hall, a 300-capacity auditorium, a health suite, a community hall, co-working office spaces, and a rooftop bar.

There are various business and community opportunities within the 8-storey Unity Place building, both internal and external, and below this are two levels of safe basement car parking along with 500 secure cycle spaces.

This not only gives maximum flexibility of use but also multiple entrances, some consumer and some more private. This naturally had to be considered when planning the layers of security required for the development.

Security Considerations

The contractors for Santander chose a range of high-security Obexion shutters from Charter Global as they have been independently certified by LPCB to LPS 1175 issue 7 SR2 security standards.

These security ratings are becoming increasingly recognised amongst security consultants, specifiers, risk managers, and property owners as they provide a framework to assess products against an identified risk.

Obexion Shutter Features

All 6 Obexion shutters installed feature the unique ‘Lockdown Technology’, ensuring they can never be left in unsecured positions. This means the shutter self-locks at all closing points, so it cannot be forced open, even when part closed.

This is particularly relevant for vulnerable spaces and where protection of not just possessions, but also employees is essential. It was a critical element for Santander, who wanted to ensure that the shutters would lock securely without manual intervention.

Manufacturing and Aesthetic Considerations

Charter Global manufacture Obexion shutters from high-grade aluminium, which gives a low-weight solution to make installation easier but also means they can be installed discreetly onto public-facing buildings where the aesthetic impact is an important consideration.

With such an iconic development, this was important for the Santander project, and the shutters were all colour-matched to a specific RAL code.

Integration and Functionality

Having an integrated controls package was another reason that Santander chose the Obexion system. This allows the connection of the shutters to the main access control system, giving smooth operation with other in-house systems. The shutters were also specified with high-duty cycle motors to allow the shutters to cater for periods of high-intensity usage.

Perforated Shutter Curtain

One benefit of the Obexion range of shutters is that they can be produced with a perforated shutter curtain.

This made it ideal to secure the basement car park level while allowing for a free flow of air so that the extraction system for the car park could function correctly.

Roger Humphreys, Managing Director of Charter Global stated:

“The Santander campus at Unity Place was an excellent project to be part of. It gave us an opportunity to showcase a number of features of the Obexion range.

Independently certified by the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB), this is one of the only security roller shutters on the market to be certified to LPS 1175 with perforated ventilation options, and the Lockdown Technology was certainly an influencing factor in winning the project.”


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