ConstructionPro Week, Volume: Construction Advisor Today - Issue: 42 - 02/11/2010

Sustainable Buildings Industry Council Adds Resource Pages to Whole Building Design Guide

With help from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the nonprofit Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) has contributed new resource pages on site security design to the "Whole Building Design Guide" (WBDG).

The pages -- called Effective Site Security Design, The Site Security Design Process, and Landscape Architecture and the Site Security Design Process -- explore GSA's evolving view of building site security and practical design applications for security measures. Drawing from GSA's recently published "Site Security Design Guide," the pages are written from an interdisciplinary perspective and reflect the views of multiple experts and organizations. GSA sees the evolving need for security as an opportunity to achieve the best design, contribute to sustainability and environmental preservation, create a portfolio of buildings that will endure into the future, provide safe and productive federal workplaces, and improve the communities in which people work. Effective Site Security Design addresses the underlying principles that guide every security design project and identifies elements and tools available to designers. 

The Site Security Design Process describes how to apply the principles and tools of site security. Successful site security design is challenging, according to SBIC. "In part, this is because key phases -- risk assessments, design concepts, funding, and construction -- are undertaken by different project team members over a long period of time."     


Provided by the American Society of Landscape Architects, Landscape Architecture and the Site Security Design Process provides an overview of the site security design process, tools and resources, and examples from the landscape architect's perspective.  


SBIC Official Provides Green Building Insider With Additional Details About WBDG


In an exclusive interview with GBI, Stephanie Vierra, a curriculum specialist for the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council, has provided additional details about the "Whole Building Design Guide." Here is a transcript of the interview:


GBI: The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has stated that the evolving need for security can serve as an opportunity to contribute to sustainability. In what ways can designing for security lead to sustainable building and sustainable landscape features?


Vierra: The point of the new process for site security is to integrate and balance the need for security while also addressing larger building, site, and community issues. Many site security solutions can impact the environment (storm water management, landscape elements, materials, etc.). We hold the view that a project which is built to last using environmentally preferable products and systems, and also contributes to the life and vitality of the community by being safe as well, is part of a sustainable solution. There is some guidance in the resources on how to approach these issues and to balance them through the new site security design process that the GSA is proposing. A key element of the process is also long-term strategies. So this supports strategic use of resources and optimization of a site with sometimes limited resources.


GBI: Which types of professionals are expected to use these documents?


Vierra: The resources are geared to building design professionals including architects, landscape architects, engineers, physical security specialists, and others involved in the site security design process. The great thing about the WBDG is that our audience is even broader than that and includes academics, building owners and managers, specifications writers, procurement officers, etc.


GBI: About how many of these professionals are expected to use these documents? How many hits on these web pages are there expected to be and by when?


Vierra: We want to drive traffic to the site to raise awareness about the resources and will be tracking the number of hits that the pages receive. We hope that hundreds, if not thousands, will use them. We already get over two million downloads a month on the WBDG with over 250,000 unique users. In addition to the traffic, we are also looking for feedback on the resources so that they can continue to be improved upon or refined over time.


GBI: What will be the next resource pages to be added to the WBDG? When may they be added?


Vierra: A few pages that will also support the site security pages include a page on Bollards (going live now), a page on CPTED (Crime prevention through Environmental Design, which will go up in the next month), and Operations & Maintenance for Historic Structures, which also has a focus on sustainable O&M. I just completed the development of a new continuing education course on site security as well and once it gets approved by the American Institute of Architects for CES credits, it will be available within the CES section of the site (where all of the courses are free of charge.) All new or updated pages are mentioned on the WBDG home page. So we encourage users of the site to look there regularly.


GBI: Any other closing comments?


Vierra: We think this set of resources is an invaluable step in the new direction of integrating site security into a project to bring beautiful, healthy, sustainable spaces and vibrant community life back to our towns and cities.




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