UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
iLockerz has worked with UCL for five years, following a successful tender award which saw an initial pilot locker system with 44 locker doors installed at the UCL Cruciform Hub.
The project was a success and UCL approached iLockerz to request a further 128 compartments through seven different locker systems for its ground-breaking new Student Centre; a building that has recently been certified as Outstanding by BREEAM. An additional 46 locker compartments were also required for the Science Library.
UCL is London's leading multidisciplinary university, with around 38,000 students from 150 different countries. Students and staff carry books, laptops and other valuable equipment so keeping these items safe and secure is a major challenge.
As an education provider, UCL sets high standards. In its UCL 2034 strategy the university aims to give students the best support, facilities and opportunities. One student expressed the need for an easy to access location where belongings could be securely stored on campus. UCL also recognised that providing better short-term storage and charging solutions would also benefit staff.
The university has 18 libraries across the city which required reliable storage and it became clear to UCL that existing locker provision was not proving adequate.
UCL Library Services’ Director of Operations, Ben Meunier, stated: “UCL students had been requesting a self-service storage facility for some time, via surveys and ad hoc requests. We had a small number of banks of key-controlled lockers at some sites; however, it was rather challenging to manage.”
iLockerz installed an intelligent locker system for personal item storage at UCL’s Cruciform Hub which, if successful, would be rolled out across the university’s other library and student sites.
The pilot launched in May 2018, providing students and staff with short-term access to 44 metal intelligent lockers for one day or over a weekend. The keyless systems could be accessed by presenting an authorised UCL ID and following the subsequent on-screen instructions.
Users can now safely stow away items whenever needed, and many of the lockers also incorporate a USB fast-charging facility so electronic devices stored are charged and ready to use on collection.
The systems removed the burden to students and staff previously having to haul heavy or valuable equipment across the city-wide campus, making it easier to move between lectures whilst offering peace of mind that their belongings are secure.
Ryan Slaney, Managing Director for iLockerz comments: “Our systems use powerful software that not only allows students to check locker storage availability across the entire London estate but also enables administrators to monitor the lockers via the web."
The project allows UCL to take greater control of its short-term storage services whilst ensuring user needs are being met. The systems automate much of the day-to-day management and staff can monitor usage when required.
Ben Meunier, Director of Operations says: “This new system is easy to use and it ensures that we can easily monitor whether lockers are being emptied as necessary.”
The pilot proved so successful that UCL asked iLockerz to extend beyond the Cruciform Hub, and has since implemented a large roll-out of smart lockers in the new Student Centre with two other systems in the Science Library DMS Watson. An additional project is planned for completion in 2021.