Pedestal PRO’s Unique Outdoor Camera Mount Preserves Architectural Aesthetics of Premium Properties
How often have you noticed a gorgeous piece of commercial real estate marred by ugly security cameras poking off its roof? You can bet those weren’t part of the original architectural design. Protruding camera mounts hovering above a beautiful multi-million-dollar building are like pairing a baseball cap with a tux. They ruin the effect.
Top security consultants and integrators understand that their role isn’t just about delivering security solutions – it’s doing so while maintaining the ambiance and architectural integrity of the properties they’re helping to secure. While the appearance of interior cameras, access panels and other devices is often discussed extensively with customers, the look of exterior hardware is often neglected. It shouldn’t be. A recently completed security installation for a Fortune 100 technology company demonstrates how unique outdoor mounts, designed specifically for this project by Pedestal PRO, can deliver superior aesthetics along with enhanced structural resilience and servicing functionality. While the client prefers to remain anonymous for the purposes of this case study, facility stakeholders and security professionals alike can learn from their example.
A Design Dilemma
Security by Design (SBD), an independent consulting firm headquartered just northwest of San Francisco, provides broad security planning and design services to its global roster of clients. Chrissy McCutcheon, Principal and Security Consultant at SBD, spearheaded security plans for the latest addition to her client’s corporate campus – a modern, light-filled, 160,000 square-foot office structure designed to visually blend within its lovely natural surroundings. It was completed in spring of 2020.
In working with her client, Chrissy says it was very important to “get into the culture of the organization, and to design systems that the employees would be comfortable with. Inside, that meant utilizing technology to keep people and property safe in ways that didn’t make it feel like Big Brother was watching.”
Outside, the client wanted the grounds of the property to be wide open. “No fences; nothing restrictive. There are grassy areas for employees to enjoy. There are picnic tables, a pickleball court and a basketball court,” Chrissy explains. “They wanted to allow open access to all of that, but still have tools in place that would make the security team immediately aware if a situation needed to be addressed.”
Powerful panoramic cameras, mounted at roof level, were chosen to provide the needed widespread coverage. However, the client was very concerned about preserving the building’s architectural aesthetics. Any cameras needed to blend into the façade. Hanging them in the traditional manner simply was not an option.
Saying “No” to the Status Quo
“The issue of how to mount exterior cameras for this client first arose several years ago,” says Chrissy, “when we were working on the initial phase of this project – the first building constructed on the site. The security integrator was wrapping up the project, mounting cameras on the roof using standard J hook mounts like they always do, when the client came out and said ‘No, those aren’t going to work. They’re too obtrusive. We don’t want anything above the level of the top of the building.’”
So the integrator took some measurements and put together a rudimentary, low-profile parapet solution that could be mounted off the side of the building, right below the roof line. It satisfied the immediate need, but there was a lot of room for improvement, especially since the client wanted to standardize on this type of solution moving forward. That’s when Chrissy suggested that the integrator reach out to Pedestal PRO.
Chrissy says, “I knew Pedestal PRO did customized pedestals, and I figured that if they can fabricate those, maybe they can do camera mounts too.”
Welcoming New Challenges
Pike Goss is CEO and Founder of Pedestal PRO, a leading manufacturer of pedestal and housing solutions for the security industry. “We cater to a broad clientele, including many with Class A office space who demand the highest quality of craftsmanship and design for anything that gets installed on their properties.” This includes Pedestal PRO’s flagship line of architectural stainless steel towers that house a building’s intercom and access control technology – one of the first things visitors and employees see as they enter a building. “While cameras mounts were new to us, we possessed a deep appreciation for the mindset of this particular customer and certainly had the design, technical and manufacturing expertise to execute on their vision.”
Pedestal PRO spent several months re-engineering and perfecting the design of the parapet mount. “One of the main problems with parapets is that they’re a hassle to service,” explains Pike. “Either the technician has to dangerously hang out over the edge of the roof, or the company has to bring in a cherry picker truck, which is both inconvenient and can be expensive. To solve this problem, we added a hinge to the mount. To service it, the technician removes a pull pin and the camera swings up, over and backward onto the roof for easy access. When he’s done, he just swings it back down into place, returning the camera to its precise positioning. When mounted on the corner of a building, just below the roofline, the camera and mount blend cleanly into the façade.”