Balancing Design Intent with Security

Bullet-resistant or ballistics rated? Forced-entry resistant? Safety glazing? There are a number of approaches to security for any given project. These all have a large impact on the design and cost of a building while navigating the requirements and available solutions can be difficult.

Starting with design-intent, architects can address safety through Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), incorporating passive and active security through design. This can include glazing to provide both sightlines for passive supervision and natural lighting that creates more inviting and engaging spaces to learn, work and play. This glazing however needs to consider the level of security required – whether to resist bullets, opportunistic intruders, bombs, or other threats. These solutions need to be balanced against the building’s intended purpose, the project’s budget and the need for these different levels of security.

All of this against the backdrop of limited building codes that govern security glazing, especially in projects like K-12 schools and other educational facilities as well as retail storefronts that are increasingly looking to fortify the security of their façade. Schools want to provide engaging and nurturing environments while keeping students and faculty safe. Retail stores want to maintain their brand’s aesthetic, but still protect their staff and merchandise from opportunistic threats and smash-and-grab risks. Form, function and security need to work in tandem.

Solutions are available but navigating these options can be challenging. Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope has developed an on-demand, AIA-approved continuing education (CE) course on security glazing and systems to help designers navigate options and be better prepared for conversations with clients. Click here to take the free course.

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