Specials

How can security be worked into the layout of a campus?

April 2019
Security is required to be worked into the layout of a campus, says Dikshu C Kukreja of C P Kukreja Associates. Here, he alludes to the concept of ‘eyes on the street’; essentially, designing a campus or township in such a way that no part of the development becomes so secluded that it becomes unsafe for women and children. In this context, denser development offers greater safety. This involves planning mixed-use buildings where commercial services generate footfalls that contribute to safety, especially if they are strategically placed on the premises.

Security (of a building or campus) starts at the periphery, where it can be implemented simply by a high wall, say a 10-ft wall instead of a 4-ft wall, and with the installation of peripheral security cameras to detect any unwarranted intrusion, says Mehernosh Pithawalla, Vice-President and Global Head, Marketing, Sales & Innovation, Godrej Security Solutions. Thereafter, security hinges on the accurate monitoring of the footage recorded by the cameras. Nowadays, instead of relying on manual monitoring of this footage, he points out that real-estate companies are deploying software to screen the footage. Software alerts security personnel to situations necessitating investigative action.

While the security of a gated community will start from the periphery, Srikanth Srinivasan, President - Procurement, Puravankara, says projects are now typically designed with multiple layers of security.

By and large, the functionality of a building defines the layers of security it will need, explains C N Raghavendran, Partner, CR Narayana Rao Architects. For instance, IT campuses are among the most secure campuses in India, some with up to five layers of security built in.

Parking areas form part of campuses and can be secured by fitting vehicles with long range RFID and introducing automatic number plate recognition technology and under-vehicle scanning. Parking management in some K Raheja Corp projects is aimed at controlling vehicular entry through a card reader and the use of boom barriers.

Secure architecture
Buildings have evolved into complex places associated with multiple users, says C N Raghavendran, Partner, CR Narayana Rao Architects. “While this may be more obvious for mixed-use buildings, it holds equally true for dedicated buildings such as hospitals, schools, IT parks, data centres, residential developments, etc. So, it is essential to design access points to accommodate different kinds of human, services and goods traffic moving in and out of buildings.”

That said, it is important to control the number of access points, says Dikshu C Kukreja of C P Kukreja Associates. “Designing too many access points needlessly increases the outlay on technology and manpower to secure the building. Sometimes, extra access points are locked. Of late, we have heard of instances where lives were lost to fire because entry/exit points were locked; this is a classic example of the need for sensible layout design.”

Within the building, security can impact minute aspects, even the location of stairs and lift banks and the size of doorways, entry doors, etc, says Raghavendran.

- CHARU BAHRI

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