Magazine article Security Management

A Model of Cost-Effectiveness

Magazine article Security Management

A Model of Cost-Effectiveness

Article excerpt

Building owners and managers can always make their facilities safer, but at what cost? Three years after the United States learned how vulnerable its landmark facilities were, a new software tool is being released that can help building owners and managers calculate and compare life-cycle costs of various methods used to reduce terrorist risk at buildings. Due out in beta version in September, with version 1.0 promised for March 2005 and a final version a year after that, the software "will allow building owners and managers to make comparisons among several alternative risk mitigation measures under different user-defined disaster scenarios," according to a recent report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The software is designed to assist with the last step of a three-step protocol (the three steps are, risk assessment, identification of mitigation strategies, and economic evaluation) devised by NIST for developing a cost-effective risk mitigation plan for constructed facilities. Software tools already exist to aid the first two stages, according to the report. For risk assessment, Sandia National Laboratories' RAMPART (Risk Assessment Method--Property Analysis and Ranking Tool) combines building-specific information with seismic, weather, and crime data, using a set of rules to predict the vulnerability of a building. …

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