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How Does Building Design Impact Security – And Vice Versa?

Editor Introduction


The design of buildings encompasses many elements, from the practical to the aesthetic. Well-designed buildings should be functional, and they can also be beautiful and inspiring. But can security systems and building design coexist and complement each other? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: 

How does building design impact physical security systems — and vice versa? 

Building designers benefit from involving a security consultant. Leveraging their expertise can avoid costly oversights and identify optimal placement for devices. For example, what type of ceiling is planned? This will dictate the type of wire that should be run and whether it requires a conduit. Are devices outside or in remote buildings or areas? If so, what is the connectivity between head-end and remote devices? Windows, the sun’s movement, clouds, and glare will affect motion detectors and video quality. Interior furnishing placement and layout can impact the line of sight for cameras and intrusion detection. Mounting security devices on high or inaccessible building exteriors makes servicing them a challenge. Incorporating the requirements of security systems into the design of building projects ensures the requirements and capabilities of the systems are considered in the building plan as a whole and not a costly afterthought. 

Editor Summary

Security systems and building design can coexist and complement each other. Integrating security considerations early in the design phase can lead to a more effective and aesthetically pleasing security system. Building design frequently impacts the choice and style of physical security systems. For security product designers, getting aesthetics right today is more important than ever. However, security should never take a back seat to design considerations, and it is possible to beautify a location even as it is being protected. 

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