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Don't segregate - integrate.

HISTORICALLY, SECURITY MEANT protecting only people. Later, locks on windows and doors were implemented to thwart would-be robbers. Vaults were purposely constructed to protect valuables. Now the entire building process-site selection, design, construction, and operation-requires the integration of security concepts to protect people and the buildings they occupy.

In each phase of history there has been evidence of man's artistic tendency. Armor of the Middle Ages was designed and crafted to be a thing of shining splendor and a medium for the artist's talents. Door locks became elaborate works of the metalsmith. The doors themselves were massive monuments to the woodcarver's chisel. Window grills and iron gates from olden times are still objects for admiration.

Today, mix the threat of terrorist strikes with the growing need to safeguard sensitive information and an entirely new concept of security arises, especially when people want to build new facilities in high-risk areas.

"No more fish bowls," says the security gunslinger. The resulting building is a fort.

" Representational design, " says the architectural fine arts commission. The resulting building is a terrorist's dream and an intelligence sieve.

A forced compromise leaves no one happy, safe, or secure. So don't compromise. Integrate.

It's not a new concept. For centuries architect/engineers (A/Es) have been integrating their ideas in buildings with unique requirements. For example, early American log houses used narrow windows not only because they prevented wind, rain, and snow from getting in but also because they kept Indians' arrows out and offered firing ports.

Today's A/E routinely integrates unique concerns when he or she designs a building near an earthquake fault line or needs to build a towering high rise. These designers can also easily integrate design with local color, blending in style and grace.

When including security in the plans, the A/E doesn't have to compromise his or her skills. Security considerations are yet another set of requirements that must be acknowledged and accommodated.

Integrating the needs of the A/E and the security practitioner can provide the best of both disciplines. By working with the A/E, explaining the threat, showing the possible damages to forestall now and in the future, exploring the means of realistic integration, striving for a flexibility to open and close doors and windows-figuratively and literally - in pleasant times and in stormy times, security practitioners can have their cake and eat it too.

When developing a new facility, the security practitioner should define what systems it needs. While some security requirements have become standard in the industry, they don't guarantee protection in all situations. As each situation is different, the requirements are different.

Consider for a moment a theoretical, 10-acre site. Security personnel, of course, would like the design of the new facility to reflect sound security planning. This can be done by constructing the facility a substantial distance from the property line and from the nearest occupied building.

Security may also require that a high, sheer wall or other barrier be erected around the 10-acre site to prevent unwanted penetration. The A/E should help to design a barrier and landscape that facilitates the security requirements and carries out the building's aesthetic theme. How about a pond or a moat with lilies and crocodiles?

Security is also concerned with the safety of the building's occupants. How about the new impact-proof, antishatter plastic windows? Security also requires various access control systems to help security officers protect the facility at any hour of the day or night. The A/E should consider all approaches to and within the building, reinforcing vault doors with alarms and electronic coverage.

If the A/E designs sweeping vistas of flowing space, these areas should not be marred with various types of security boxes, electronic gadgets, and wires hung indiscriminately in the hallways. By providing space in the wall to house security systems or disguising them in some way, the A/E and security practitioner will meet their objectives.

Security is expensive. Integrating security into the design can keep the cost down. There are many ways to save big bucks in designing a new, secure building without increasing the security risks to either the structure or the inhabitants-an A/E need only ask.

Cooperation between security and design professionals provides many advantages. Just like the buildings of old, an aesthetically pleasing structure can be enhanced when security is integrated throughout-in site selection, design, construction, and, finally, uninterrupted operation.
COPYRIGHT 1990 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:architecture and security
Author:Taylor, Robert A.; Hancock, John R.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Apr 1, 1990
Words:736
Previous Article:Is Soviet glitter all gold?
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