Embassies and consulates demand the highest level of security. But what if diplomatic services are housed in a publicly accessible building together with restaurants and corporate offices of global companies? This is the case at Deutsches Haus in Ho Chi Minh City, where Bosch succeeded in meeting complex security needs.
Securing the symbol of German-Vietnamese friendship
Opened in September 2017, the Deutsches Haus office tower in Ho Chi Minh City, Southern Vietnam, is a symbol of cooperation between Germany and Vietnam. The modern building stands 25 stories tall with a 40,000-square-meters floor area and serves as a cultural, commercial and diplomatic hub in the region. It is home to the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany with a full suite of diplomatic services. But it also houses the regional offices of international firms as well as premium amenities including a gourmet cafe, health club, rooftop restaurant, and multifunctional conference and events area.
This multi-use concept, together with the fact that consulate services are located in a freely accessible building, created a challenging environment for security managers at Deutsches Haus. Adding to the challenge, all security systems including security guard teams need official approval from the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. In the bigger picture, Deutsches Haus is located opposite from the Consulate General of the United States of America – and in close vicinity to the Consulate General of France and the British Consulate General – on a busy intersection between two main streets. For this reason, monitoring pedestrians and automobile traffic on the building’s perimeter is just as crucial to end-to-end security as tracking public and high-security areas on the inside.
24-hour perimeter security with video analytics
Considering these complex security needs, Bosch experts covered the building and its perimeter with network IP security cameras featuring built-in Intelligent Video Analytics. These ‘smart’ cameras rely on algorithms and AI-based image recognition to support operators by detecting security events automatically. Guarding an object of the size of Deutsches Haus, requiring hundreds of cameras on the inside and outside, the cameras’ automatic alerts for trespassers, suspicious objects and illegally parked vehicles solve a fundamental problem: After 20 minutes of watching video feeds, the average operator misses 90 percent of important scenes.
Support from video analytics also allows for safeguarding Deutsches Haus and its perimeter around-the-clock, even under the cover of darkness. The building’s perimeter and parking lot are safeguarded by outdoor-approved AUTODOME video cameras with pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) capabilities and excellent low-light performance thanks to starlight technology from Bosch. Water-tight and impact-resistant, the cameras are also designed to withstand the city’s four-month rain periods, harsh winds and vandalism.
Bringing perimeter security full circle, the outdoor cameras also use the video analytics function to automatically track moving objects such as cars and pedestrians – and warn personnel of threats – from a distance. As an added functionality, the cameras are integrated with a third-party solution to recognize license plates and open barriers for authorized vehicles entering the consulate’s parking lot.
High security, low profile for inside areas
The same level of analytics-supported and around-the-clock video security also applies to indoor areas at Deutsches Haus: Over 170 Bosch IP-based video cameras monitor the building’s lobby, café, entrance doors, reception area, as well as parking garages and corridors to the fire escape staircases. The building’s elevators are also protected by Bosch cameras in a way that blends in with the interior design, instead of creating the impression of a ‘high security’ zone that would limit patrons’ enjoyment of facilities like the health club or rooftop bar.
Nevertheless, the government-grade security has already proven beneficial, for instance when an employee working in the building dropped her wallet upon entering the security gate and personnel informed her via the public address system to retrieve it. Speaking of the sound system, Deutsches Haus relies on PAVIRO, the public address and voice evacuation system from Bosch, for the safety of building occupants.
The system lets building occupants and guests enjoy high-quality music in the rooftop restaurant, café, health club and event areas. It also increases the level of security, for instance during building evacuations via public announcements: A phased approach for clearing the building in separate stages directs occupants to safety, starting with those closest to the threat. For the building owner, the public address and voice evacuation system offers long-term cost-saving and minimized total cost of ownership, while power-load sharing of the amplifier architecture lowers battery usage and environmental impact.
Since the grand opening of Deutsches Haus in Ho Chi Minh City, the Bosch solution has succeeded in securing diplomatic and enterprise assets in a publicly accessible building without incidents. As a showcase of German engineering in a symbolic building, the future-proof solution also provides an important reference in this dynamic market.