Bosch Building Technologies has installed a digital public address and voice alarm system at Telford Shopping Centre in the UK. On 25 acres of commercial space, the IP-based Praesensa system provides music, announcements, and emergency alerts for retail stores, restaurants, as well as hotels and a cinema.
The shopping mall operator had been looking to upgrade the existing public address system with a future-proof and IP-networked solution for retail environments with two key requirements: heightening the centre’s sustainability and energy efficiency while keeping costs for the upgrade low. Working with these requirements, Bosch partner North AVS refurbished all existing loudspeakers installed at Telford Centre across 16 zones via minor modifications on the end lines. As a result, system integrators merely needed to replace the obsolete control equipment – including a cumbersome call station with analog buttons – and amplifiers.
Since the cost-effective upgrade, security staff at Telford Shopping Centre now control the public address system via an intuitive touch screen interface. Managed via OMNEO media networking technology, the software-based system combines live broadcasts and recordings from various media sources. The library includes background music in MP3 format, commercials from a message database, plus end-of-day mall closing messages on automated schedules. Automation also kicks in during an emergency, for instance in case of a fire: Targeted to specific zones on the property, the public address system integrates with the fire alarm system to play pre-recorded alerts and evacuation messages. Leaving full control to security, personnel can send live voice messages and manually trigger the evacuation protocol as needed at any time.
“We were very pleased with the installation of the equipment by North which caused minimal disruption and they also managed to keep us operational whilst the Shopping Centre was open”, explained Chris Titley, facilities manager, Savills. “We are extremely happy with the quality and operation of the new Bosch equipment and the team are finding the system easy to use. It’s of paramount importance to have a reliable system and this is definitely ticking all the boxes.”