Construction Industry to Exalt Security's Role. (News and Trends)

By Gips, Michael A. | Security Management, May 2002 | Go to article overview

Construction Industry to Exalt Security's Role. (News and Trends)


Gips, Michael A., Security Management


Security systems have long been an afterthought in new facility construction. Now the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) is poised to welcome security to the table. Its executive committee recently approved a proposal that would raise life safety and facility protection to the division level of the Master-Format, a 16-dividision list of the most crucial elements of nonresidential building construction. Designers and architects use the list as a guide for new buildings and renovations.

The change places security in a, more prominent position. "It creates an aura of more importance with the end user," says Richard Grassie, CPP, of Techmark Security Integration and a member of the ASIS Security Architecture and Engineering Council.

Currently, security elements are only addressed as subsection items within major divisions of the MasterFormat, such as doors and windows. That approach gives security a secondary status, say some security engineers. As a result, they say, security systems are more likely to be considered after the original construction.

When CSI announced its intent to revisit the MasterFormat two years ago, the focus was on addressing new computer and communications technologies. During the process, the telecommunications industry proposed that security, access, and surveillance issues be included under telecommunications.

"We didn't think one section of one division was enough to address all those issues," says Greg Ceton, staff liaison for the MasterFormat expansion task force, the group that had developed the proposal. …

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