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SECURITY


THE ODD COUPLE


If only architects and designers would consult with security experts, real efficiencies and cost savings could be made by incorporating security measures into building design, says Kevin Ward, Executive Director of Ward Security.


The process of designing buildings has changed dramatically over recent decades. Long gone are the days when form and function were the only considerations for the architect or designer. Today, architects and designers need to consider a range of additional criteria, governed not only by increasingly onerous legislation but by an expectation from clients that their buildings will be future-proof to avoid any necessary subsequent changes. We only need to remember the widespread groans when buildings had to be retrofitted to incorporate accessibility. While nobody could seriously criticise the need for wheelchair access, you can understand the frustration when building aesthetics were often dramatically and expensively


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compromised. If only the buildings had been designed with accessibility in mind in the first place.


“It will be a long time before security receives the same treatment and starts to excite designers.”


As well as accessibility, the modern designer needs to also consider energy efficiency, health and safety, and a raft of other considerations. From a design perspective, these are often dull but, thanks to modern construction methods, boring stuff such as energy efficient insulation can be hidden away within the building fabric itself. Indeed, some


aspects such as energy generation can be incorporated as exciting design statements, as can be seen with London’s Strata Tower and its dominating wind turbines.


Unfortunately, it will be a long time before the issue of security receives the same treatment and starts to excite designers. Yet it should, because building owners and businesses are more security conscious than they have ever been.


For example, modern businesses expend increasingly vast amounts of money and effort on ensuring their computer networks are secure. It’s an evolving challenge but, in a world where data and IP are currency, it is vitally important. A well-executed cyberattack can be extremely costly to the business, both financially and in regard to reputation.


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