Don’t Make Security Crash the Party

A colleague posed an interesting question to me the other day.  “Why isn’t security included earlier in design projects?” When a client starts a design-build project, they invite many specialty consultants to collaborate, but security is often left off the invitation list.   Instead of coming in at the beginning of the project cycle with the architects and designers to design and integrate security concepts seamlessly into the design, security consultants often only get invited to the table as the project is nearing frantic completion, when someone realizes that security measures need to be added.  Unfortunately, this delay in involvement can lead to design dysfunction that can end up being very costly. Concepts and plans are already set in stone, independent of security advice and input.  Budget and funds are allocated.  So when security consultants are dragged in at the eleventh hour, they become the party crashers who blow up the budget and mess up the design with unattractive equipment. That is the risk of tacking on security after-the-fact.

Aligning security with project milestones from the beginning does more than save time, money, and effort for everyone on the team. We say this so often that we wonder if the message is somehow getting lost.  While we may joke that we are good at making things ugly, in reality a skilled and experienced security designer prefers to weave in all the tools of security in a way that ensures one’s facility, or campus, or urban area has security that works discreetly in the background but does not look like a Federal Prison Facility.

At Butchko we recognize that buildings and campuses are becoming increasingly complex in architectural design and function. These facilities are often part of sprawling mixed-use communities that are increasingly popular and lucrative for urban developers.  While these designs for living tend towards a more open aesthetic, the open and inviting nature can actually make these facilities more vulnerable.  But they do not have to be.  When allowed to participate from the start, security consultants with backgrounds in urban design, engineering, and the broad spectrum of security technology and techniques can incorporate the principles of CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design), lighting, access control, traffic processes and flow, and many other methods that fold in with what the architects and designers envisioned but add the practical necessity of good security.  The end result is attractive, in keeping with the design aesthetic, and often less technology-heavy, hence lower in cost.

The important point here is, the earlier the involvement, the better.  Invite us to the party from the start!  It will save you time, money and headaches later in your project.