Recent tragedies have led to a growing demand for increased safety measures in building design, especially in schools. A large number of schools in the United States were built before 1985, when security design was not emphasized. In addition to implementing training for emergency response, many modern-day school administrators have initiated such preventive measures as controlling building access and providing additional means for emergency egress. In fact, since the late 1990s, building and school ground access control measures during school hours have increased more than 17 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Many schools also are implementing faculty identification badges, video monitoring and telephones in classrooms.

Although fenestrations (e.g., windows, doors, louvers, vents, etc.) are the most vulnerable components of a building enclosure (and, thus, highly susceptible to unauthorized access), school designs are incorporating increasing amounts of glass and windows due to the positive benefits of natural light. Although vulnerable, certain design concepts can be implemented to help secure fenestrations, either as new construction or renovation programs. These provisions will improve students’ ability to enjoy the benefits of natural light, without compromising building security.

Click here and turn to page 26 read the full article by Gale Project Manager, Steven R. Marshall, RRC, LEED AP.

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