Securing Tomorrow’s Building Today, SOM’s Evans Hall Opens

January 16, 2014

Edward P. Evans Hall Securely Opens with State of the Art Access Control System.

After three years of planning and construction, Edward P. Evans Hall on Whitney Avenue opened its doors welcoming Yale School of Management’s (SOM) students, faculty and staff to their new home. The 242,000 square foot building was a massive undertaking. Comprised of four million pounds of steel, 16.2 million pounds of concrete, 2.25 million pounds of glass for the exterior façade and an expanse of 4.25 acres—it is a building poised to teach the business leaders of tomorrow, today. As construction crews wrapped up last minute details, the Yale Security Department completed final tests on the building’s security systems.

Associate Director of Project Management at Yale Security, David Nevins gives us some insights into the process behind securing the new building. Nevins joined the Yale Security team in June of 2007. He has been involved one way or another with almost every electronic security installation on the Yale campus for the last 13 years.  Previously he managed the Yale account with an outside security company used by the university.  “I quite literally know the basements and lower levels of these Yale buildings better than I know the upper floors,” said Nevins.

The dialogue between Yale Security and the design team began in January of 2008. Yale Security presented the architects and designers with security requirements for the new building. Afterward, the architects and security consultants developed a schematic plan that was continuously revaluated in order to take into account new considerations. The Yale Facilities planners and project managers included the security department early in the process and this everyone involved understand how different areas were going to be used. Several staff members from SOM who served on the design team were very involved in all aspects of the design and had great input about security. 

Evans Hall is the first building integrated into Yale’s new security system manufactured by AMAG. “Their Symmetry software is state-of-the-art and years ahead of our current access control platform, we elected to use this system over the current one to ensure that we didn’t have to replace what was installed a year after opening,” said Nevins. The building’s opening on January 14th was a resounding success due in part to the security team’s efforts to meet deadlines and perform various system tests on the new access control system. Nevins added, “All of us in the ‘systems’ side of security were really under a tight schedule to make sure that things went as smoothly as possible–we took extra precautions just in case.”

Evans is the first building to have the new system installed; however with the old Access Control System no longer being supported a change needed to be made for the campus at large.  It took over 8 months of research to find a cost effective and forward thinking approach to change the current system that was installed in the 1990’s.  Symmetry fit that plan and 10 more buildings have been converted with little to no disruption to the Yale community.  Over the course of 5 years the whole campus is to be converted to the new system.

When asked about his favorite aspects of the new building, Nevins had much to say, “There are a bunch of things that are great about it.  The interior courtyard is amazing, the amphitheater is fantastic, and the kitchens and dining service facilities are second to none. I think other than the structure itself, the amount of electronic media that is incorporated throughout the building will be talked about most. We made security as practical yet as “invisible” as we could, I have got to believe that the electronic media product that is all over the building, particularly in the classrooms, rivals any facility in the world.”

The new building is equipped with 120 proximity card readers and 100 cameras to serve 16 classrooms, 22 breakout rooms, three library spaces, 13 interview rooms and office space for roughly 120 faculty and 195 staff.

By Christian Vazquez, ‘13