Architects in security design play a vital role in the design of a new building. In most cases, by the time the design has reached the M&E Consultant, any potential security flaws are already too late to catch.
This vision isn’t necessarily wrong, but there are many other ways security can be deployed, that can be just as effective when correctly implemented.
The most powerful example of this can be when considering how to protect a building or facility against a vehicle carrying a bomb.
The most common methods for using a vehicle to attack a building are driven towards the vehicle, or parked near to a building.
In this scenario, physically hardening the fabric of a building to withstand a blast is extremely expensive, difficult and may not fully protect the occupants.
Modifying the layout of the approach road, introducing chicanes and concrete barriers, or placing a car park over 30 metres away from the building are all much more effective.
Combine the above measures with a staffed vehicle control point, and the mitigation against the threat is much greater, while the costs are much lower.
These types of measures can only be implemented if the site location and placement is considered in advance than trying to fit protective measures in retrospectively.
Where a facility has a high level of risk and need for such measures, a security consultant is normally engaged during the initial master planning and planning stage.
There are many other projects which, do not usually require the engagement of a security consultant, that could take advantage of these design best practices.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and Secured by Design
Both CPTED and the Secured by Design scheme focus on how the environmental design and layout can contribute towards preventing crime and creating safe and secure spaces.
Siting trees and bushes to create a natural perimeter or barrier, keeping plants away from buildings to avoid creating places for adversaries to conceal themselves.
Placing prickly bushes near vulnerable areas such as low level windows deter someone from climbing in through a window.
Having clear signs that state that there is a security patrol in place, CCTV in use and that trespassers will be prosecuted can send out a very strong psychological message to an potential attacker.
Ensuring that areas are sufficiently lit at night can eliminate dark areas where someone could conceal themselves, increasing the chances that they will be seen if they attempt to break in to a building or site.
The correct lighting levels, correct type of lights location can make or break the quality of images recorded by a CCTV system, and the ability to identify the culprit.
Orienting buildings so that they look over vulnerable spaces to the rear of a building is a very simple but very effective way to make the area more secure.
This dramatically increases the chances of someone acting suspiciously being seen.
Simple measures such as introducing picnic benches to a large communal area encourages authorised persons to use these spaces, at the same time, deterring a potential attacker as they know that people in this area may question their presence.
These are but a few ideas that can be implemented, please contact me to find out more.