Protecting public safety officials through resilient design
Design concepts should balance safety and security for staff, while providing the opportunity to build transparency between the department and the local community.
There is a growing need to offer public safety clients sustainable and resilient-focused facility design. Design concepts should balance safety and security for staff, while providing the opportunity to build transparency between the department and the local community. To strike that balance, we employ active and passive resilient design approaches. A great example of a facility that incorporates both elements is the state-of-the-art Cleveland Division of Police Headquarters in Ohio. Our approach included:
- Designing distinct public and secure motor court areas
- Utilizing crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) planning principles that include physical landforms, a visual overwatch, and purposeful activities in areas adjacent to the building to increase control
- Using the dense building core as a naturally strengthened feature to house critical communications, surveillance and security
- Designing a clear and obvious entry location and pathway to prevent unintentional violation of secure areas while still inviting the public into the facility grounds
- Distributing calming spaces with exterior views and biophilic elements that connect people and nature within the built environment to reduce officer stress levels and increase passive security functions
- Designing physical features between the building and the public to serve as an invitation to engage in the facility grounds while doubling as layered security buffers
- Supplementing passive strategies with technological and mechanical solutions, including video surveillance and active control systems
We can best serve the community and clients by recognizing public safety facilities as critical public assets. With that buy-in, we can design to support a community’s mission while also implementing critical safety measures for facility staff.
Dewberry is a CFE Media and Technology content partner.
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