Rating system aims to improve security of U.S. buildings

August 11, 2010

Reston, Va.--While the effort to improve the security of federal buildings against the effects of terrorism is well underway, more than 85 percent of non-residential buildings are neither owned nor leased by the federal government. Led by the American Society of Civil Engineers Architectural Engineering Institute, and supported by numerous building, design, management and ownership organizations, the Building Security Council was recently formed. The Council will administer and maintain voluntary rating systems that enable building owners to evaluate and improve the security of their facilities.

For a fee, building owners will voluntarily apply for a security rating from the BSC by submitting detailed information on the design and operation of their buildings. A group of reviewers will then evaluate the building against standardized rating criteria. As it is impossible to separate physical from other aspects of building security and still address occupant safety effectively, the BSC rating systems will consider all components of security, including physical and personnel issues.

The BSC will focus on establishing an industry-wide decision-making tool, which utilizes existing guidelines--such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Risk Management Series. It will also focus on increasing security by fostering collaboration between building, design, construction and maintenance elements, producing more innovative solutions, and setting standards for continuing professional development and promoting quality engineering practice--including development of a building security design professional certification.

         
 

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