As crime increases, architects are being asked to consider security in building design. Design without security in mind can lead to legal complications, expensive redesign and the need for additional security personnel.
Building and business owners have always been responsible for providing adequate security. Recent litigation has become more explicit, extending responsibility to the premises’ property line rather than just the area in which business is conducted.
Other reasons for including security in building design are the additional cost in re-construction, security personnel, and lost time. Security as an afterthought can result in exposed, unsightly alarm systems and conduits or blocked doors and windows.
The overall design of the building is part of any security plan. Design should include
· clear sight lines of invulnerable areas
· appropriate lighting levels
· the siting of the building and parking lot
· the configuration of the building on the site to permit surveillance
· special locks for doors and bars on windows
Access control is another important aspect of the original design of a building. Access control includes access to the parking lot and grounds as well as the building itself.
The search for the best security system begins with the security systems consultant or the architect. The architect can design an integrated security system that enhances a building’s overall security. The security consultant can help the architect specify generic wiring and conduit.
How much security is enough? It is sufficient when a balance is reached between the level and type of risk and the cost of minimizing those risks.