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The phases of partnership.

SECURITY DIRECTORS OFTEN BEcome frustrated when dealing with architect/engineer (A/E) firms that design new structures for their company. The level of frustration seems to be directly related to the size of the project.

The security director wants to design functional safety and security features, and it seems to him or her that the A/E firm is concerned only with cosmetic items such as the facade of the new building. When the A/E firm does ask for input from the security director, the final design is barely recognizable, with the director's suggestions drastically altered or completely ignored. At worst, the final design may actually create vulnerabilities instead of eliminating them. At best, the design may require extensive security procedure alterations to compensate for suboptimal security design.

Though many reasons exist for inadequate communication between the A/E firm and the security director, the key barrier is often the director's lack of understanding of the A/E process. Communication is further complicated by the fact that many A/E firms consider security as a mere annoyance, with little import to the overall project.

To the project's further detriment, the A/E firm frequently neglects the opinions of highly trained security personnel. This attitude is held despite the fact that security directors know their companies better than anyone and understand what security measures are necessary to protect the companies' assets.

A security director can overcome this barrier by communicating these requirements to the A/E firm. Even more importantly, the security director must understand what the A/E firm needs to know and when to present his or her requirements. Additionally, it is beneficial for the director to learn some of the A/E firm's jargon and how it does business as well as who controls what in the overall design process.

From the simplest closed-circuit television (CCTV) installation to a multifacility, state-of-the-art system installation, certain basic steps should be performed in designing a security system. Security system design and construction has much in common with other types of design and construction. Therefore, the project management techniques and the design documentation generated by the professionals in fields such as civil, mechanical, or electrical engineering can offer guidelines for the development of security systems.

Several different contract documents have been developed over the years for use in design projects. One of the more widely used documents was created by the Engineers Joint Contracts Document Committee, which is composed of representatives from various prominent technical societies.

Many of today's security projects, especially in the government arena, are being structured around this format. Th' results have proven very beneficial to owners, security directors, designers, and installers.

The format demonstrates a six-phase sequence of events for any project and describes in detail the specific responsibilities for all members of the project team (owner, designer, contractor, etc.). (See the accompanying chart for an abbreviated version of these phases.)

Study and report phase. The cornerstone, foundation, and fundamental tenets of any project are formulated during this phase. After reviewing regulatory data, interviewing key facility staff, and conducting one or more site surveys, the functional requirements that clarify and define the owner's needs are developed for the project.

A conceptual design with alternatives can help determine whether the overall concept satisfies those requirements and is acceptable to the owner. During this phase the A/E firm should develop schematic representations of the building and its critical areas.

Block diagrams of the major mechanical and electrical systems created in this phase will represent the systems' scope and complexity. Cost estimates, also developed in this phase, help determine if the funds originally appropriated for the project are adequate and provide data for decisions on acquiring more money or downsizing the effort.

This phase is critical for everyone involved, especially the security director and the owner. At this phase the A/E firm provides a project presentation to these parties. This presentation is a critical decision-making point for the owner and also enables the director to bless the portions of the design he or she concurs with and refute those portions that would be adverse to security.

The security director should not be seeing the design concepts for the first time at this multidisciplinary meeting. The security director should have communicated closely and frequently with the A/E firm prior to the meeting. Relaying security concepts and not falling into the trap of dictating specific equipment is essential.

Too often poorly prepared security directors have allowed ill-conceived design concepts to be approved at this point because they were unable to justify their disagreement or through silence gave their tacit approval. If the design team, which includes the security director, maintains an open mind and continually refers to the basic security requirements, a justifiable and cost-effective security program will likely be formulated at the end of this stage.

Preliminary design phase. During this phase the general concepts from the first phase are refined and developed so that all participants understand the intent and scope of the project. While the design documentation created will be extensive, most of it will be incomplete, leaving the details to the next stage. The A/E finn should create preliminary drawings and specifications for the project in outline form.

The owner should expect to see the location of the major system components (card readers, central processing unit, sensors, cameras) but not details on such concerns as mountings, conduit runs, or wire types. The specifications should have the boilerplate complete but little more than a listing of the proposed technical sections (intrusion detection systems, CCTV, access control).

The cost estimate should be much more accurate in this phase since it is based on a relatively complete bill of materials. However, the estimate should have a range of plus or minus 25 percent. The gaps will be filled at the final design phase. Supporting design data is further developed at this phase. Such items as vendor quotes on hardware, design calculations for voltage drops, camera coverage, and access portal throughput rates are included.

The A/E firm should present another briefing to the owner with the design package. The owner should then be able to understand and visualize the facility being designed, including all implemented safety and security measures. He or she should then sign off, though a resubmittal is often necessary prior to this action.

As in the study phase, the security director can significantly affect the project's design during this presentation. Because most projects are tied to schedules and delays are costly to the A/E firm, timely and thoughtful reviews can have a very positive effect on the project's viability and long-term effectiveness. Consequently, the security director should participate directly throughout this phase, use the time wisely, and document his or her comments in such a relevant and thorough manner that the A/E firm understands and cannot ignore them.

At the end of this stage the security director should have been able to convey to the A/E firm what is absolutely necessary for the security program. If funds and design flexibility exist, some preferred items that could have a positive effect on the overall security program may also be included.

Final design phase. This portion of the project can be the most difficult for the A/E firm and the most frustrating for the owner or security director. Even though the owner authorized the A/E to proceed at the end of the preliminary design phase, certain aspects of the project may not be completely understood by the owner or support staff. If the previous phase was properly achieved, however, the resulting disagreements will focus on items of a more superficial nature, though they might seem catastrophic.

The guiding principle here is to proceed with final design according to the earlier decision. Unless a discrepancy is truly detrimental to the company's best interest, the A/E firm should be permitted to finish the design as originally envisioned. In addition to a completed set of design drawings, specifications, bill of materials, and final cost estimate, the A/E firm should develop documentation to be the bidding phase such as bid forms, invitations for bids, and the instructions to bidders.

The A/E finn should give the owner a final presentation as a summary and review of the project. The A/E firm should attempt to accommodate the owner's concerns, but any significant changes at this stage could be extremely costly in terms of time and design funds.

The project documentation is complete at this point in the design process and could be used for bid without the A/E firm. However, the A/E firm could usefully participate in the subsequent stages because of the firm's intimate knowledge of the overall project and its requirements.

Bidding and negotiation phase. The A/E finn usually provides administrative assistance to help ensure the owner receives the services and equipment originally expected from the construction contractors. The security director's active participation in this phase should provide him or her with critical information on the ensuing construction project.

At a minimum, the security director will be needed to answer questions on items such as escorts, badging, parcel inspections, and other security-related items. The director should inquire as to the types of hardware proposed, staffing requirements, or special training procedures to be developed at a later date.

Construction phase. This phase can pose formidable difficulties for the security director. The security for the facility must be strengthened and adjusted to compensate for the additional sometimes transient-personnel that will occupy the area under construction. The security director may have to deal directly with the construction contractor, the A/E firm, and the owner.

The A/E firm again takes a supporting role. Some services of interest to the security director that the A/E firm might provide are shop drawing review, evaluation of substitute material, review inspection, test and training manuals, and final construction inspection.

Operational phase. Some items always remain to be contended with even though the installation and testing of die project are essentially complete. The A/E firm should assist in completing the financials, edit and finish the project documentation, provide as-constructed design prints marked by the construction contractor, participate in training, and help develop the final facility and equipment operating procedures. These activities must occur because the information created is of long-term interest and importance to the proper and secure operation of the facility.

If security directors understand how technical projects develop and apply that knowledge to their facilities when the need arises, they can make better use of their time and personnel. They can more effectively provide input into the security design process from its inception to its completion. Additionally, by understanding what activities take place and when they occur, security directors can support, justify, and obtain 'the design and systems that best meet the security needs of their companies.
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.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:architecture and security
Author:Whittle, Thomas J.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Apr 1, 1990
Words:1816
Previous Article:Integrating security and design.
Next Article:Get it in writing.
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