Houston Zoo Data, Audio Visual and Security Upgrades
Connecting Communities with Animals: Houston Zoo Upgrades Data, Audio Visual and Security Capabilities in Preparation of 100th Anniversary
Launching the Keeping Our World Wild: Centennial Campaign and Master Plan, the Houston Zoo secured $150 million from individuals, foundations, corporate partners, and the Zoo’s operational cash flows to create new multi-species habitats every year leading to the 2022 centennial.
Fostering a Culture of Conservation, Education and Outreach
Visiting the Zoo has long been one of Houston’s favorite pastimes, as it welcomes over 2.1 million visitors each year – making it the second most visited Zoo in the United States. The Houston Zoo covers more than 55 acres, housing more than 6,000 animals of over 800 species in specific geography-themed landscapes.
To further their mission of connecting communities to wild, Phase I of the Houston Zoo’s master plan will create new habitats that provide meaningful guest experiences and the highest quality of animal care to be enjoyed for decades to come. By 2022, nearly half of the Houston Zoo’s acreage will be redeveloped into experiential zones that highlight wildlife and ecosystems found in Texas and around the world. With conservation messaging integrated throughout the Zoo’s diverse and expansive landscape, guests are provided with a narrative that will leave them inspired to take action to save animals in the wild.
Upgrading a Network Infrastructure
Working alongside the Houston Zoo and Tellepsen to meet strategic initiatives, NCS upgraded the Zoo’s existing cabling systems, audio visual equipment, and security cameras around the park for better animal visibility and monitoring, enhanced security, and increased network coverage.
Due to the diverse terrain, NCS needed to integrate the cable systems functionally and visually throughout the Cypress Circle Café, Texas Wetlands Habitat, Pantanal Habitat, and the Galapagos Gift Shop to be easily serviceable yet unobtrusive with the environment. After conducting a site survey, the project required upgrading the Zoo’s existing structured cabling, data cabinet installation, and hanging wireless access points to increase bandwidth for better network coverage. To provide more infrastructure to support the increased connectivity, NCS built-out two Intermediate Distribution Facilities (IDF) wall racks in the telecom room. To maximize conduit space and allow for future growth, NCS installed 90 Berk-Tek Category 6A network data drops, including Plenum and OSP rated cables as well as two 24-strand singlemode fiber optic cables and two 6-strand singlemode fiber cables. The conversion from analog to digital hardware and equipment gives the Zoo’s IT department peace of mind not having to worry about disparate equipment failing.
To address the Zoo’s AV needs, NCS selected the strategically hidden Atlas SHS-6T2 and Martin A55T ceiling speakers that blend into the Galapagos Gift Shop’s ceiling aesthetic without compromising sound performance. The speakers deliver ambient sound and background music for patrons in the gift shop and improve emergency audio messaging capabilities and public announcements. Additionally, a 43” Samsung DC43J display was installed in the Photo Booth section of the gift shop as an enhanced amenity for visitors to view themselves experiencing the Zoo before purchasing.
NCS installed around 60 Axis PTZ, multi-sensor, and fixed cameras to the zoo’s security infrastructure in critical park areas, including Heart of the Zoo (HOTZ), Texas Wetlands Habitat, Pantanal Habitat, and the Galapagos Gift Shop. The zoo’s new integrated and networked camera system provides enhanced situational awareness and better visibility to monitor animal behavior and ensure their well-being. The comprehensive coverage provides security staff with real-time insight with advanced video analytics capabilities and reporting, and live video feeds to ensure patron and staff safety.