Sensitive Sites and Infrastructures


Institutions, international political bodies, sites of worship and places of public education. One of the greatest risks facing any of the places mentioned above is unauthorized intrusion. The careful planning of perimeter security can decrease costs and give valuable extra time to those protecting the area. Below we reveal four secrets for converting a potential loss into a gain.

Often, the work required consists of nothing more than a simple renewal or restoration of security installations. In other cases, what is required is an effective reinforcement of perimeter security. Whatever the request, planners and architects need to work together. In 70% of cases, however, a project will be compromised by the following flaws: incompleteness in communication; the non-involvement of specialist security companies; failure to check the applicable laws; the involvement of numerous subcontractors. The consequences of these failings are all equally harmful from a logistical and, above all, an economic perspective. The incidental harm caused by not coordinating with a security manager during all the stages of the project includes:

  • spiralling project costs
  • delays in project completion times
  • the use of inappropriate or even unsound materials
  • the emergence of additional threats to the security of the installation
  • the need to deploy extra human resources to patrol unprotected areas
  • a failure to protect project confidentiality
  • the possible leakage of sensitive data and information.

So how can the planning phase be turned from a potential cause of financial loss into an opportunity to enforce budget discipline and optimize costs? By taking the following four steps.

1. Design and select the best possible form of access control and intrusion prevention

The general security of the site is unquestionably the pre-eminent concern, but it must never be forgotten that the only way of achieving a superior level of site control is through the proper management of the flow of visitors. Several strategic actions can be taken in this regard:

  • conduct a preliminary analysis of visitor flows to reduce unchecked and unregulated access, shorten waiting times and, for cases where the visitor numbers are low, intensify the level of monitoring and profiling;
  • make sure that the products selected meet current safety requirements, and always refer to local and international standards;
  • during the preliminary design, account for the presence of any architectural constraints and calculate all the additional costs that they imply.

2. Involve as few external parties as possible

The products selected for use in the project need to be repaired and maintained. Reducing the number of people involved in the realization of the project will streamline the process, rendering the installation faster, more secure and less costly. It is essential to check that all providers are following the same communication protocols, to which end it may be useful to set up a single, centralized platform for the global operation of the entire security system.

3. Check planning restrictions when designing vehicle and pedestrian access points:

The road system around the site has a major impact on the perimeter security solutions that need to be adopted. It is always advisable to:

  • determine critical areas when deciding on the placement of entrances and consider all possible interactions with vehicle traffic;
  • allow for the possibility of subsequent variations to the design, and therefore give precedence to altering the architectural layout rather than immediately increasing the number of security devices;
  • ensure that the planning information and permissions are up to date and not subject to change.

4. Always combine project safety with project design

The choice of materials must always be informed by considerations of the safety of staff and external parties. The following precautions are particularly important:

  • between the design and the building stage, ensure that all the technological solutions being used comply with the latest standards;
  • map out in advance the flow dynamics of the site to reduce risk in case of evacuation;
  • design a sound and integrated wayfinding system using vertical and horizontal signage, taking care to separate pedestrian walkways from vehicle gates;
  • check against the possible presence of serious operational conflicts in the security systems (e.g. a vehicle gate protected by an automatic barrier should not be used by pedestrians, whose passage would interfere with the photodetectors that activate the barrier, leaving the site vulnerable to fraudulent use).

For more information

Came Project Department
Tel +39 0422 494512

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