The US Federal Government (Department of State, Department of Defense and the US General Services Administration/Interagency Security Committee to name a few) have done a great job in developing security design standards and criteria to implement on new and retrofit construction projects for their Departments and Agencies. These standards and criteria are based on the expertise, experience and knowledge of the writers as well as established self-knowledge regarding the unique building occupancies, construction types, building locations, and risk profiles of their building and project portfolios to which the standards and criteria will be applied. All of these pieces of information are factored into the individual standards (such as minimum standoff distances, design basis threats, required levels of protection, etc).
It is therefore important for private, state and local entities to research the background of the Federal standards before adopting them for a project. When thinking of adopting standards, the project team should consider (at a minimum) the following items:
- What are the Design Basis Threats included in the standards and do they apply to this building/occupancy/location?
- What Level of Protection/Hazard Level does the application of the standards provide for the building and occupants and does this meet with the requirements for the project in question?
- What are the minimum standoff distances and are these achievable on the project. If not, what are the design measures required to mitigate reduced standoff and are they feasible for this project?
- What ongoing maintenance and staffing requirements result from the implementation of the standards and are these sustainable for the project?