Strategic Facility Design Can Protect Against Terrorism


Organizations that want to successfully protect against terrorist threats need to do more than just ramp up security. Designing buildings with anti-terrorism efforts in mind can go a long way in protecting people if an attack were to take place.

Understanding the need for protection as a core design element
A report from RMJM discussing the need to incorporate security into design for buildings highlighted a number of points that are relevant around the globe. One of the most vital of these areas of emphasis is the need to balance disruption and visibility.

Security measures should slip into the background, being just visible enough that people notice them and feel safer, but not so obtrusive that they leave people worried. For example, the news source said that designers should be intentional about establishing structures so that CCTV cameras are easily visible. Furthermore, the core design should be developed to create many entry and exit points so people within the building have plenty of points of egress in the event of a terrorist attack.

Bringing protection into every facet of the building
Incorporating just a few security methods into design is only the beginning. A report from the Whole Building Design Guide emphasized that holistic security planning should be put into action when designing structures to withstand terrorist attacks. A few issues that should be considered include:

  • Establishing a protected perimeter
  • Ensuring progressive collapse is impossible
  • Isolating any internal explosions
  • Designing the facade to minimize debris

These are just some of the major design considerations that must be accounted for when trying to protect a facility against terrorism, and there are standards from FEMA, the Department of Defense and the Interagency Security Committee, among other groups, that can provide vital guidance, the news source explained.

Constant growth essential
As terrorist threats evolve and target structures in new ways, designers must constantly learn new skills to keep up. Training in these areas can help architects, engineers and other designers stay on top of emerging trends in anti-terrorism design and ensure their projects are as secure as possible.


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