Secure Architectural & Environmental Design
With our Principal Consultant a Home Office qualified Architectural Liaison Officer and Secured by Design Licensed Consultant, NSG Security Consultants are acknowledged to be one of the few qualified independent consultancies offering a true secure architectural and environmental design service.
What is Secure Architectural & Environmental Design?
In simple terms 'Secure Architectural and Environmental Design' is the application of a number of different but linked concepts and applications, when put together produce an environment in which incidents of crime and associated anti-social behaviour are reduced to the absolute minimum, or even eliminated altogether.
At its core is the realisation that there is no 'easy fix' to the development, construction and occupation of a secure environment. The traditional 'target hardening' approach to security has largely been discredited due to its ineffectiveness, and the problem that security countermeasures installed retrospectively, tend to affect aesthetic building design and functionality.
Secure architectural and environmental design takes a more holistic approach to resolving the problem of crime and the associated problems resulting from the environment we develop, and in which we live, work and visit. At its core is the acknowledgement that there are three inextricably linked elements that work together to create a secure environment:
- the way in which the built environment is designed and constructed;
- the systems installed, both physical and electronic, which contribute to the management of the built environment created; and
- the management response and process to manage risk.
The reliance of one over the others untimately fails to deliver a secure built environment. For developers and planners it is essential to consider how the built environment will be used from the outset, and before construction commences; and in that regards, probably the most important elements are the practical application of the concepts of CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) and the effective management of the space created.
The five principle CPTED strategies, involve:
- Natural surveillance – increasing the threat or apprehension by taking steps to increase the perception that people can be seen
- Natural access control – limiting the opportunity for crime by taking steps to clearly differentiate between public space and private space
- Natural territorial reinforcement – promoting social control through increased definition of space and improved proprietary concern
- Maintenance – reinforcing the sense of ownership and care about the environment
- Target Hardening – the use of locks, bars, grilles and other security measures to ‘harden the target’
In order to ensure that CPTED can deliver, each of these five strategies must be considered equally. But the reality is they hardly ever are. All security practitioners understand Target Hardening and electronic security systems, but few understand the natural strategic elements, never mind incorporate them into the advice provided to architects, planners and developers. The truth is that it is the natural elements that are the more effective, and moreover they build upon good architectural design practice enhancing the quality of the built environment. Furthermore, the application of these concepts is cost effective.
It is a myth that a secure environment costs more; by adopting the NSG approach it is possible to develop secure buildings in which people choose to live, work and visit without incurring additional cost, it is the case that the NSG approach reduces cost
What we do
At NSG Security Consultants we recognise the importance of understanding how the built environment will be used, how people will interact with the environment and the all important human factors. Following our proven evidence based and process led approach; we take a bottom up approach – one that ensures the construction projects we work on achieve the correct balance between security and accessibility.
The NSG Security Consultants secure architectural and environmental design resource can be used as a comprehensive 'one-stop-shop' security consultancy, from initial concept (RIBA Stage A) to building occupation (RIBA Stage L), or as a schedule of specialist elements which can be used independently, or any combination according to Client and project need.
As appropriate to the size and complexity of the development or refurbishment, and client requirements, NSG Security Consultants will prepare the required security documentation in support of the development or refurbishment. Typically this would involve one or more of the following:
- BSRIA (Building Service Research & Information Association) Design Brief
- BREEAM Assessments
- Secured by Design Applications
- CABE Design and Access Statements
- Security Strategy Master Plan
- Life (Fire) Safety and Security Strategy
At NSG Security Consultants we take a flexible approach, and dependent upon the Client and project requirements we can combine the RIBA stages, so for example, at Stage C we can provide 'concept design documentation' which incorporates more detailed technical design, which only requires minor modification to meet any subsequent design changes. Furthermore, most of the work required (particularly in the early stages of a project) can be undertaken 'off-plan' at our Cheshire offices. Thereby reducing consultancy costs and providing a 'quick turnaround'.
It is NSG Security Consultants flexible approach that sets them apart from other security consultancies
More information about NSG Security Consultants Architectural & Environmental Design Consultancy service can be found in the Information Pack for Architects, Designers, Planners & Developers click here