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Posted 19 Aug 2020

How TLJ Access Control are helping Nido Student deliver sector-leading user experience

TLJ keeping security and safety centre-stage for Nido with bespoke PBSA access control solutions.

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TLJ keeping security and safety centre-stage for Nido with bespoke PBSA access control solutions

Nido Student is one of the world’s most progressive PBSA providers. For over a decade, they have been welcoming students from more than 100 countries, across 150 higher education institutions. With Nido, flexibility and a bespoke approach are key, providing a real alternative to one-size-fits-all accommodation. No two Nido buildings are the same, with a variety of room types and rates to suit all budgets. The quality of student living is prioritised with a strong focus on well-being and sustainability. It was the endeavour to find tailored solutions that drove Nido to specify TLJ Access Control across their European portfolio.

TLJ’s ongoing collaboration with Nido will see 3,500 individual locks installed over seven residences by the end of September 2020. A similar number will be fitted during 2021. But the numbers only tell part of the story; it’s only when we examine in detail some of the achievements that the real value of our collaboration can be measured.

The projects

By mid-September 2020 TLJ are on course to have installed in seven residences in the UK and Europe. A further seven will be added in 2021.

These include PBSA developments in Groningen and Utrecht in The Netherlands, Cork in Ireland, and Glasgow, Coventry and London in the UK.

The next phase will include PBSA projects in Cork and Dublin in Ireland (a total of five residences), plus a further two residences in Lisbon and Porto in Portugal.

How TLJ are making a difference

The work with Nido Student is a great example of TLJ’s collaborative approach with developers and operators. Their innate agility as a business means that they have flexibility to deliver truly bespoke solutions on a site by site basis.

On the projects in The Netherlands, for example, TLJ’s Mobile Keys functionality is fitted as standard. This allows students to operate locks using their smartphones, so no physical keys are needed. Furthermore, the property operator can issue digital keys prior to arrival. This massively cuts down on waiting times and allows for much smoother running come admission day. TLJ enhanced this process even further by developing a custom integration, allowing mobile keys to be issued in bulk to new students.

TLJ are also working on a bespoke integration with leading student accommodation software provider StarRez to fully automate the access control workflow. This will make the entire process, from room allocation to issuing keys, fully automatic and incredibly efficient for both students and operating staff alike.

It’s reassuring and worth remembering, as we adapt to working practices in the post-Covid ‘new normal’, that Mobile Keys can make an important contribution to a site’s cleanliness regime. Contactless operation and the lack of physical keys reduces the number of resident touch points, reducing contamination and infection risk throughout the building.

Mutually benefiting from integration

TLJ collaborate with Nido on every part of the integration, not just the technical aspects. For example, the Mobile Keys app has been customised to match Nido’s visual look and feel. TLJ also produced physical door hangers for every student room, explaining how to use their smartphone to operate the lock.

In Groningen, high security metal doors were fitted which would normally be incompatible with a traditional electronic lockset. TLJ solved the problem by installing their RezLok model, which is unique in housing all of the working parts inside the handle unit. In this way the door is left relatively intact, with no cutting-out needed to fit a separate mortise.

And in Utrecht, Nido took the decision to specify TLJ’s Invisible lock. This model houses all the working parts inside the door, resulting in an ultra-clean and sleek appearance. In essence it’s all the benefits of a smart, electronic lock with the minimalist appearance of a mechanical one. A bespoke handle set with a high-gloss finish was chosen, to further heighten the aesthetic appeal.

It goes without saying that TLJ didn’t hesitate to comply with European regulatory standards, obtaining a maximum 3-star rating in SKG-IKOB Certificatie B.V. security tests.

The integration process is dynamic, however, with both parties learning as they go. A good example of this is the need to provide students with the option of a physical access token like a key card or fob. Certain overseas mobile providers do not support Google Play or AppStore, and students from these countries may have difficulty accessing the Mobile Keys app.

TLJ’s Chief Technical Officer, Luke Martin, said:

We are delivering several high-profile projects for Nido Student during 2020 and into 2021. The process of developing and deploying integrations that bring real benefits is both a challenging and enjoyable one. As we move further onto the global stage it’s great to work with a partner like Nido who is both forward thinking and willing to work with us to achieve common goals.

Brian Welsh, CEO, Nido Student, added:

e are delighted to be rolling out this initiative across the portfolio to make our residences even safer and more hygienic for our students. TLJ’s technology demonstrates the fantastic effort to keep design & technology high on Nido’s agenda across the business, simply because it’s important to our customers, especially at this time.

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