Don’t Forget to Design in Security

We read a lot about new ways of working, the future of the workspace and the need for flexibility, however we cannot forget about physical security of the workspace. The threat of terrorism isn’t new and future design concepts cannot ignore the need to design-in security at an early stage in the design planning. Creating flexibility for your staff is a key trend, reducing barriers to allow your staff to work when and where they want. However you cannot just leave the front door open to anyone to walk in.

Security isn’t just about the security desk or entrance barrier. Security provisions should be built in at multiply layers – if an unwanted guest gets through the first layer, there is a second to restrict them. Creating multiply layers, like an onion, need not restrict staff flexibility but can stop unwanted guests; peel away one layer and there is another and another.

If security is considered at an early stage of the design process, then it won’t look like an “add-on” or as if someone has come along at the end of the project and installed a few CCTV cameras.

We did this 20 years ago with furniture – once the office was fantastically designed and fitted out, we would come along with our old furniture from the previous office and place it in the newly designed space. Furniture design is now an integral part of the interior design, let’s learn from the past, not ignore it.

Nobody wants to add in even more pass doors to restrict the movement of their staff so at the points of access we can combine measures – have a pass code together with your swipe card or cameras and detection at sensitive areas such as data rooms.

Finally, security measures should also not be designed-in in isolation. Design them to fit with the client’s and architect’s vision and don’t forget the onion!

Fit-out, investor, Landlord, Occupier, Security,
Matt Wilderspin

Matt Wilderspin

Executive Director

Building Consultancy

+44(0) 20 7182 2175

matt.wilderspin@cbre.com