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Designing a concentric approach to security. (Insiders Outlook).

In the past, unauthorized entry was the biggest threat to building security. As the tragic events of and following Sept. 11 have made all too clear, the threats to security have become more varied and sophisticated.

In developing a facility security program today, we also have to take into consideration the threats of blast and of biological and chemical weapons.

That is why it is more important than ever to develop a comprehensive security program to protect building users, the business continuity and real estate assets. As part of this process, it is essential to look not only at the hardware and software comprising the building's security system, but to identify and assess the roles of all human and electronic security assets: integrated electronic security systems; building automation systems; contract security personnel; and public agencies.

Use the results of this assessment to design and implement security measures in six concentric zones, from the interior of the building outward to the public domain.

Zone 1: Protect the Interior. Every building owner has a common need to protect its interior space from unauthorized entry. Some of the means available include:

* An effective system at the front desk or lobby to identify and badge employees and visitors

* Locking systems

* Intrusion detection and 24-hour alarm monitoring

* Closed circuit television (CCTV) in key locations

* Security guards

Zone 2: Protect the Perimeter. The typical multi-tenant building is protected at the perimeter by a base, building system. Perimeter security focuses on the following elements, which, ideally, are incorporated into the design of a new structure, but also may be retrofitted:

* Window coatings to minimize shards of glass in the event of a blast; polycarbonate glass from grade to 30 feet or higher

* Structurally hardened building exterior and curtain wall

* Defensive landscaping -- avoiding landscaping that conceals intruders or provides natural "ladders"

* Lighting and CCTV in key areas to deter and/or identify intruders

* Control of loading dock traffic/visitors

* Control of building entrances -- main lobby and elevator core interface with public

Zone 2: Mail Facilities. Mail facilities are vulnerable to biological and chemical weapons, as well as unauthorized entry:

* Limit access to authorized personnel

* Place at building perimeter to decrease access and reduce the impact of hazards

* Install x-ray package screening equipment

* Install nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) detection equipment

* Install negative pressurization system to contain hazardous materials

* HVAC filtering and treatment (e.g., HEPA filters, UV treatment)

Zone 2: Air systems. The building's air systems and mechanical room (if located on the perimeter) are vulnerable. Protect air handling systems from tampering:

* Fence off or move fresh air intake and return air vent to roof

* Secure mechanical room exits

Zone 3: Building Grounds. Building grounds should be treated as a defensive zone to prevent cars and trucks, which might be carrying explosives, from crashing into the building. A typical security measure against these threats is the installation of highway barriers, but these are unsightly. Instead, use landscape elements effectively to create a stand-off zone around the building, remembering that the effect of blasts diminishes with distance from the blast center:

* Mature trees, landscaped earth berms, raised planter beds, benches, ornamental fencing and ornamental light posts

* Incorporate effective lighting

Zone 4: Sidewalk & Property Boundary. Implement effective security measures at the property line:

* Roadway and barrier systems, such as a guardhouse

* Remote parking lots -- communications (e.g., emergency intercom), CCTV surveillance

* Utilities -- secure access to gas, water, electric, telephone service (e.g., locking manhole covers)

Zone 5: Parking Structure & Lanes. Parking structures are a significant area of vulnerability. Limit and monitor access and use, particularly if within or under the main part of the building:

* Parking control

* Vehicle identification system

* License plate recognition system

* Eliminate on-street curb parking

Zone 6: Public Domain. Finally, leverage the assets that are available to property owners in the public domain: streets, police, fire and emergency services departments. Coordinate security policies and procedures with public agencies at the local, state and federal levels, as appropriate.

Establish a liaison to obtain real-time intelligence about actual and potential threats. In today's world, property owners, developers and managers must take a holistic approach to security planning, programming and system design. They must assess the full range of security assets available -- both human and electronic -- and develop a system that protects the property at every zone from the interior to the public domain.
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Article Details
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Author:Gillick, Terrence J.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Nov 13, 2002
Words:724
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