SQSS (Suitably Qualified Security Specialist) & Secured by Design

NSG Security Consultants are SQSS (Suitably Qualified Security Specialist) as defined by BREEAM HEA 06 Safety and Security and can carry out Security Needs Assessments to help achieve BREEAM credits on new build construction and refurbishment projects, particularly where a rating of “excellent” is required. In addition we are one of only a handful of independent consultants who hold a Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (formerly ACPO) Full Secured by Design Licence:

“Having satisfied the requirements for consulting on all aspects of the Police Crime Prevention Initiatives Limited owned initiative ‘Secured by Design’. As a result of holding an unrestricted licence he can give guidance and advice at all stages of any type of Secured by Design development from planning through to completion and up to the stage when a development is signed off by the police service"

NSG Security Consultants have provided a Secure Architectural & Environmental Design Consultancy Service to architects, planners and developers since the consultancy’s inception in 1996 building on our principal consultant’s previous experience as a Home Office qualified Architectural Liaison Officer with the Greater Manchester Police and today we still study buildings to see what works and what doesn’t. 

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 anti-social behaviour are reduced to the absolute minimum, or even eliminated altogether. 

At its core is the concept of CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design), a concept which over the last twenty or so years has a proven track record of working. CPTED was originally developed in the 1970’s in America and begins to challenge the way in which we think about security in the buildings and environment we create. CPTED contains five principle strategies:

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 from attack’

CPTED makes us question the environment we create; assess and incorporate the requirements of the users of the space created. The easiest way to ensure that this is achieved is to use the Three-D approach to space assessment. The Three-D concept is based upon the three functions or dimensions of human space:

all human space has some designated purpose;

all human space has social, cultural, legal, or physical definitions that prescribe the desired and acceptable behaviours; and 

all human space is designed to support and control the desired behaviours.

Importantly CPTED relies upon natural elements, most of which are already inherent in a well-designed and well-constructed environment, with little emphasis upon the more expensive target hardening methodology, including extensive electronic access control and CCTV, espoused by most security professionals.

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 significant and unnecessary cost. It is the case that the NSG approach, and one which is proven to work, reduces cost over that recommended by other security professionals

Moreover as the Three-D concept is based around good modern day architectural principles all architects and developers will understand this approach to creating a secure built environment, making it easier to work with us. 

What we do

As SQSS, the first thing we do is assess the proposed development, whether new build or refurbishment for compliance with the Three-D concept. Then we define space to differentiate between Public Space, Semi Public Space, Semi Private Space and Private Space, and where necessary make appropriate recommendations to delineate between the four ‘spaces’ being created.

Our SQSS then produces a detailed report of our assessment which can be used to:

obtain BREEAM credits For HEA 06 Security and Safety, to be signed off by the project’s BREEAM Assessor;

support an application for Secured by Design accreditation with the local police ALO (Architectural Liaison Officer) / CPDA (Crime Prevention Design Advisor); and / or

support a Planning Application at RIBA Stage 2 by demonstrating to the Local Authority that sufficient and appropriate attention has been applied at the design stage to security and safety.

All our work is undertaken off-plan at our Cheshire offices and with our reports serving three purposes, there is no better, or more cost effective way of demonstrating that security and safety is an intrinsic and ‘built in’ consideration to your project.

We can also provide at RIBA Stage 0, before any plans are developed, a Security Design Concepts Report based upon an initial assessment of a Client’s outline design brief, thereby ensuring that the resulting plans will incorporate the required security and safety elements, with minimal later redesign. 

For more complex buildings, including for example Shopping Centres and Airport Terminals we can provide Life (Fire Safety) and Security Strategies to ensure there is no conflict between security and fire safety arrangements.

For more information about the NSG Security Consultants, Secure Architectural & Environmental Design Consultancy, our services as SQSS and how it fits into your project click here to download our Information Pack. Alternatively gives us a call on 01829 262 409 to discuss your requirements with our SQSS and Principal Consultant.