After each major attack against the US here and abroad, new government agencies, new infrastructure types, and new sectors start addressing the threats that face us. This can dramatically affect the built environment.
Question: How do we as planners, architects, engineers and security consultants create more secure buildings that still maintain functionality and aesthetics?
Original Air Date:
Aug. 19, 2021
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Matt Morgan: Welcome to the third installment of Proto-Talks. It's good to have you all here. I see we've got quite a few people filing into the room. I'm your host, Matt Morgan. I'm the president of Protogetic, the protective design industry's first digital marketplace.
Before we get started, I want to give a big shout out to our sponsor Gibraltar Perimeter Security. [00:00:30] They are a leading manufacturer of vehicle barriers and perimeter security products and we thank them for their generosity in sponsoring today's discussion.
I really hope you enjoy today's approximate 70-minute talk on the state of the industry. And if I can just say, this is going to be quite an interesting talk today because we over at Proto-Talks really have waited a while to get the three [00:01:00] speakers in the same room together for quite some time. We really think it is going to be a great talk and we're very excited about it.
Please do remember, if you have questions to put them in the chat section on your screen. We really do want to hear from all of you so please send in those questions and we'll try to get to them as best we can. If we can't, we'll try to address those questions via email [00:01:30] after the discussion is over.
Today's keynote speaker is a very dear friend of mine, Holly Stone, the principal engineer and founder at Stone Security Engineering. She has 30 years experience in the blast, anti-terrorism, and emergency response and she has been instrumental in the criteria development, research, and educational [00:02:00] initiatives all over across sectors in our industry. She is widely recognized as a creative force and innovative force within the industry. Her portfolio of work includes multi-hazard vulnerability assessments and new anti-terrorism designed for the U.S. Department of State, Justice, Defense, and Homeland Security as well as national universities, chemical plants, [00:02:30] and a variety of NGOs and Fortune 500 companies.
Without further ado, Holly, welcome to Proto-Talks. Let's dive in.
Holly Stone: All right.
Matt Morgan: There you are.
Holly Stone: There we are. Okay.
Matt Morgan: [inaudible 00:02:45]
Holly Stone: Step one complete.
Matt Morgan: Yep, there you go.
Holly Stone: Step two.
Matt Morgan: Here we go.
Holly Stone: All right. So that wasn't so hard, was it?
Matt Morgan: There you go. Holly, [00:03:00] welcome.
Holly Stone: Thank you. I really appreciate Matt, and thank you for that introduction and the opportunity to be part of this third Proto-Talk about the state of the industry and what I kind of think of as new threats and no codes.
When I'm preparing for presentations like this, I like to take a step back and take a beat and review recent events that relate to the protective design industry to remind myself where we have been and where we're going. And I have to say [00:03:30] I'm always hit with the number and variety of violent attacks that have happened since I last spoke on the subject.
This time, it's even more visceral because of the fall of Afghanistan. I suspect that most people listening to this webinar right now have been involved with providing protection to people in Afghanistan whether as part of the military, the United Nations, or other international organizations, [00:04:00] part of design teams working on buildings and compounds and bases, or as a manufacturer creating products and materials which are to be used in those buildings, compound, and bases. We've all touched it and I think that this is really a poignant moment for us to be talking about what is the state of our industry.
The first question is, what industry am I really talking about? There's a lot of names for it [00:04:30] and they've evolved over time in response to world events and trends. The big picture is that it is an industry that protects people, buildings, information, infrastructure, and mission critical operations from attacks and hazards. Sometimes, these are terrorist attacks. Sometimes, they are attacks from industrial accidents. Sometimes, they are criminal attacks, and sometimes, they are attacks from nature itself.
[00:05:00] When I started doing this type of work, I was called a blast consultant. This was because after Lebanon, Oklahoma City, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Khobar Towers, and the UN headquarters attack in Iraq. Bombings were the largest and the most urgent types of protective design that were to be implemented in new buildings and retrofitting existing buildings.
[00:05:30] Now, I termed myself a protective design consultant because we're now looking at a whole new array of attack and hazard types and delivery mechanisms. We've expanded our view and approach to what used to be blast consulting and is now protective design consultants. We live in uncertain times and the world is a more uncertain place today than it was two years ago, a year ago, a month ago, and quite frankly, [00:06:00] last week.
The protective design community including everyone listening to me right now everywhere are tasked with figuring out how to best reduce the impacts of these new hazards with a focus on how to do this for multiple hazards occurring either on their own, simultaneously, or sequentially. When you think about sequentially, think of what has happened in Haiti in the last five days.
So the next question to ask is, how did we [00:06:30] get here?
Since 1983, in the Marine barracks attack in Lebanon, with every attack against the United States, our citizens or our allies, the world of protective design has expanded. From a U.S. centric perspective, the profession came into the light on the civilian side of the world with requirements from the Department of State for embassies and consulates overseas. It then expanded to civilian federal buildings then personnel occupied Department of Defense buildings [00:07:00] and on and on.
September 11 was a bellwether event from almost every perspective imaginable. One of those perspectives was the dramatic rise in the number of government agencies, federal, state and local starting to incorporate more or enhanced protected design requirements and a significant rise in the requirements of commercial enterprises such as iconic high rises, office buildings, factories, industrial plants, and infrastructure looking at how to protect [00:07:30] their structures and their people against these types of attack.
You'll notice at the right hand side of the slide it becomes a lot harder to do nice straight lines because so many things have been happening in the last five years that really changed our industry and changed our world, and right now, because of all that, I think we're really in another inflection point.
Over this past decade, and especially in the last five years, we've seen changes [00:08:00] in the type and tempo of attacks that we are experiencing. Now in addition to providing blast resistance into our designs, we're looking at how to find and defend against a multitude of new modalities.
The first one that I want to talk about is progressive collapse or I'm more comfortable calling it disproportionate collapse. This is when some initiating event whether it's a bomb, a plane, a hurricane, [00:08:30] or failure of structural elements due to corrosion, when these initiating events caused cascading failures across the structure or across multiple structures well beyond the location of the initial damage. It's like that house of cards that is talked about a lot.
This has been included in civilian federal building design since Oklahoma City attack because that was a progressive collapse or disproportionate collapse. After September 11, it's vastly [00:09:00] expanded in approach and implementation.
Anti-ram or vehicle barriers are another way that we've done them in the past, but the approach and the intent has changed. The use of these anti-ram barriers have been in wide use for multiple decades. They were largely installed to do what's called enforcing standoff. And what that meant is to make sure that a potential vehicle type bomb [00:09:30] is kept away from the building that's trying to be protected. The standoff is the distance between the structural elements and the bomb itself.
But because of the change in attack modalities and the fact that there have been more aggressors using vehicles to attack vulnerable pedestrians in exterior spaces, anti-ram or at least crash resistant vehicle barriers are now being used to protect outdoor plazas, bikeways, pedestrians areas, [00:10:00] and any area of congregation outside. This is really changing the nature and the look of our landscape.
2020 saw shocking examples of civil unrest which led to attacks and forced entry into buildings in the United States. Defense against these types of attacks have been a staple in our embassy designs and compounds in hostile environments for many years but they've [00:10:30] generally not been used in what are considered to be these lower threat environments like the majority of the United States.
But now, owners and designers and agencies are rethinking this and they're looking for ways to protect against these types of attacks as we saw during the Capitol on January 6. Windows which were designed, most likely, against explosions weren't able to take the multiple impacts from blunt force objects [00:11:00] as was seen during the Capitol attack and is seen as during most of these mob or forced entry type attacks.
But windows, walls, doors are often in our industry designed to take and protect against multiple threats for century such as gunfire, ballistics, such as explosions. But we need to take a more multi-hazard approach and look at these and expand [00:11:30] the use of those further into our businesses whether it's federal or commercial. Generally, these have been used in very specific locations rather than being deployed around the country.
Mass shooting incidents continue to occur in the U.S. and recently in Canada and the United Kingdom. The statistics on this page are from the FBI and they show the [00:12:00] active shooter incidents from 2013 to 2020. You can see that there is a significant rise and progression of the number of attacks that occur. This information is from the Gun Violence Archive and it shows the statistics for 2021 to date. In 2021, so far, there have been 439 mass shootings.
For the [00:12:30] purposes of this information, a mass shooting is described as four or more people shot and killed in a single event at the same general time but not including the shooter themselves.
In those 439 mass shootings that have occurred, 458 people were killed and 1832 people have been injured. To dig a little more deeply into this information, this first map that I'm showing you right now [00:13:00] shows the number of incidents in specific locations. But then if we click on that 197 that's near in Washington and New York, it shows us the region that's being included. And then when we get in a little bit closer to it, these are the incidents in the Pennsylvania area, the New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago areas, these are the specific locations and number of incidents that have occurred [00:13:30] there.
These are something that needs to be protected against and while we have done some, we have not done enough would be my take.
Daveed Gartenstein-Ross' last Proto-Talk on crisis architecture talked about this extensively and he talked about ways that buildings can be designed to protect against these incidents. One of the ones that really struck me it was such a simple [00:14:00] solution in classrooms is to make sure that the teacher can actually lock the door to that classroom from the inside so that they can keep people on the outside, potential aggressors. From a design perspective, I very much think that our community in this industry can do much more to protect against these types of incidents.
The next one I want to talk about is really an emerging threat that's been beginning to be studied [00:14:30] so that protective design solutions can be developed. These types of attacks have been a military tactic for a long time and have been started to be used by terrorists and insurgents. But now we're starting to see them in the civilian world, mostly, right now in the form of espionage but based on our past experience of new and emerging technologies, that will change and we will see them being used as physical attacks as well.
[00:15:00] Some statistics on this per the Association of the U.S. Army between 1994 and 2018, there was more than 14 planned or attempted terrorist attacks using aerial drones. The first that they're documenting is in 1994 when a Japanese terrorist group tried to use a remote controlled helicopter or aerial drone to spray sarin gas. Luckily, that time the helicopter itself failed and [00:15:30] attack was thwarted.
In 2013, Al-Qaeda had planned an attack using multiple drones against Pakistan but that was thwarted by local law enforcement.
And starting in 2018, excuse me, 2014, ISIS began using store-bought and homemade aerial drones in their operations in Iraq and Syria and those two phrases, store bought and homemade, are real game [00:16:00] changers because that means that these are no longer delivery mechanisms that only can be utilized by militaries, only can be utilized by highly funded organizations. They can be bought at a store or you can actually make them and that means that the potential for them being used in multiple ways increases dramatically.
Most recently, there was a drone attack in [00:16:30] August of this year against the World Trade Center in World Trade Center 7 in New York City. I say attack but really, it was an impact by a drone and there was no significant damage that occurred. And in fact, it wasn't a terrorist attack, it was a tourist gone awry. But that particular drone was store bought, it was easily foldable, it could actually be placed in a large pocket like a cargo [00:17:00] pant pocket and it was able to go to the third floor of the building.
Generally, when we protect buildings, we're really looking at threats coming from the ground. But all of a sudden, we're elevating those threats and this particular drone while only got to the third level, it actually could have gotten to 1500 feet towards the top of the building itself. And again, that changes the way we need to think about these threats and the way we need to protect against [00:17:30] them.
The next type of threat that is emerging or new and that we're still figuring out is it's what's being termed the Havana syndrome and that's when people are struck with unexplained headaches, dizziness, memory loss and they were first identified in Havana, Cuba which is why it's called the Havana syndrome or referred to as the Havana syndrome. That happened in 2016. [00:18:00] And 2017 and 2018, there were events in China, 2019 and 2020 in Washington, D.C., and as reading The Wall Street Journal this morning, there was actually an article yesterday about this type of incident being reported in Germany for U.S. diplomats.
Right now, there's no true conclusion on what's causing them. It seems to be that the most credible open source [00:18:30] theory on it is that it was started as espionage trying to listen in to see what was happening and it turned out they were able to cause injury by it. The main theory right now is that it is from microwaves. But then, from our community and our perspective, the question is, what can we do to protect people against that? And how can we incorporate that into our design?
Cyberattacks, you feel like they're [00:19:00] lurking everywhere and that's with good reason because they really are. They hit governments, they can hit commercial companies like Sony and those who've read the paper in the last couple days, T-Mobile, electric plants, software developers like SolarWinds, hospitals, and individuals. They're diverse and they're complicated and therefore, they're very difficult to defend against. But they have to be put into this package of the multiple threats that we want to defend [00:19:30] against and make sure that we consider them as part of the equation when we determine what protections should be used in buildings or used in security planning.
Climate change also very much feels like it is everywhere because the effects seem to be... I feel like it's lions and tigers and bears [inaudible 00:19:53] because every time I read a paper, especially this year, and last year, it [00:20:00] seems like there's new things happening that are attributed to climate change.
There's been out of control wildfires in Canada, in the United States, in Greece, and in Australia. There have been significant floods in Japan, across Western Europe, in Turkey, and China, and the United States. The number of hurricanes in United States has been increasing year over year. And then incredible heat waves have been hitting the world [00:20:30] and we've really been seeing that in the last month or so.
From a design perspective, we have to at least think about these things and consider them to be part and parcel of our protected design and our approaches to these things.
And then another thing that is everywhere and seems to be everywhere is COVID and pandemics. From a protection perspective, [00:21:00] some of the things that we use when we're looking at defending against a chembio attack or when you look at trying to keep things in laboratories. But we also need to think about how we lay out our buildings, how we lay out our office space, and how we can control and manage the flow of people and the flow of air through buildings in order to limit the amount of contagion that theoretically can be [00:21:30] spread. Again, this is an area that's new and emerging as far as trying to incorporate it into our buildings.
As the last few moments have showed you, there really are a lot of these new threats with respect to our buildings and our infrastructure and our operations. For most of these, we really don't have clear and mature mandates or criteria. I like to think of this somewhat [00:22:00] humorously as new threats with no codes. Right now, everything's a mishmash of guidelines of testing standards, government criteria, and one off solutions often which contradictory to each other.
From my perspective, potentially, one day, this might be code. But that's going to be very difficult from a lot of perspectives. We are slightly [00:22:30] creeping forward towards that. For example, after September 11, NIST did a detailed survey and report on recommendations to help mitigate the effects of attacks. A few of these have actually been implemented into New York City building code. One is protections and resistance against progressive collapse. Another one is luminous strips installed in stairwells and emergency exit corridors [00:23:00] and there's a few other things that have been incorporated, but it has not been adopted wholesale, nor have multiple of these protections been incorporated.
This mishmash that we have leaves it largely to the security design and manufacturer communities to determine what and where are credible threats and what's the best way to defend against this. Much of this takes a rethinking [00:23:30] of how to leverage and modify the current protective products in order for them to be able to come to the core of our mitigation efforts against these new threats and how to modify them and build them on top of each other to make them protect not just about against a single threat but multiple threats potentially in combination and potentially in sequence.
Trying to determine what the threats are, not to mention how to mitigate [00:24:00] their effects, is a nontrivial endeavor. And then when we start to layer on trying to mitigate the effects of multiple threats and hazards, that can become a Herculean effort and that's one that everybody here is part of and that we're moving forward.
From all of this, we really need to incorporate a whole new palette of protective design measures and combinations of predictive design measures into our built environment. [00:24:30] I think of this in two ways. A lot of it really is an art form. It's people with experience and knowledge of design, of construction, of security, and of operations coming together to put these things together and that's an art but it's all has to be based on science and how an anti-ram barrier does react against speeding vehicle, how a window can resist [00:25:00] a sledgehammer forced entry type of attack. All of that is so that art that has to be placed over the science of this industry.
Speaking with a colleague the other day and they said that with the state of the world, all projects really must consider protection against threats and hazards because it's no longer just a selected few buildings or locations or [00:25:30] companies that are potentially in danger. We all could be affected in some manner. So the question is, as designers and engineers and security consultants, manufacturers, contractors, owners and governments, how do we provide the needed multi-hazard protection while still creating beautiful, functional, and cost effective buildings and infrastructure?
That's really the conversation [00:26:00] for our panel today and I'm really looking forward to both hearing what Bill and Barry have to say, but also the questions from everybody listening.
As a closing, I'd like to point out that today is in fact World Humanitarian Day which is dedicated to honor aid and health workers who provide lifesaving support and protection and to pay tribute to those workers who have been killed or injured in the course of their work. [00:26:30] This is especially pertinent for us today because the reason it was established was to honor the 22 aid workers who were killed in the bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq on August 19, 2003.
With that, I want again, Matt, thank you for this opportunity and turn it over to you so we can start the discussion. Thank you.
Matt Morgan: Okay. Holly, thank you very much. [00:27:00] That was incredibly informative presentation. I know we all appreciate it. I also know that our panel now would love to weigh in. So without further delay, let me introduce Barry White, he is the senior executive VP and COO of Norshield Security Products. He has more than 35 years experience in design and manufacturing and is a specialist in critical infrastructure of government and private sector [00:27:30] projects. Welcome, Barry.
Alongside him is Bill Vondenkamp, vice president and project principal at HDR. It's a world-ranked design firm specializing in engineering, architecture, and environmental construction services. Bill has nearly 25 years of experience as a project manager and as an architect and specializes in complex technical projects with a particular [00:28:00] focus on mission critical facilities such as operations, data centers that require robust infrastructure. Welcome, Bill.
Listen, today, again, we're going to do more of a free flowing format. I'm not going to fire off questions. I know the three of you really have a lot to say on the subject so I'm going to let you guys go to it and let's get [00:28:30] the conversation started.
Holly Stone: Oh, go ahead. Sorry, Matt.
Matt Morgan: No, go ahead. Holly, take over.
Holly Stone: I was going to say just as an aside before we start chatting, Bill and Barry and I have all worked together since the late '90s, early 2000s and Bill and Barry have a wealth of knowledge and experience in this type of industry so I really am very appreciative to get to talk to them about this now.
Bill Vondencamp: [inaudible 00:29:00].
Holly Stone: [00:29:00] I'm just going to start this off and then hopefully, it's really free flowing after that. But I wanted to say, for both of you that in light of all of these new threats and hazards and how they're being deployed, how do you think that we can actually modify or innovate on the protections that [00:29:30] we already used against blasts and how to expand those to be more holistic as it were in approaching these things?
Barry White: Well, Holly, I think that part of that solution is going to be involving more technological advances. I know that particularly on the blast side, we've had some technological advances with coatings and materials used in the constructions of the buildings and etc. [00:30:00] But on the window and door product side, there's not been a great deal of innovation as far as use of high tech materials within the door and window side. I think there's opportunities there as the protections and the threats change, I think there's the opportunity to incorporate new and emerging technologies into the product offerings.
Bill Vondencamp: Yeah. As much as technology [00:30:30] keeps advancing, it always is born from new threats. I think as Holly mentioned and depressingly so, outlines such a wide array of potential threats that are on the horizon are actually here today, technology is going to respond to this.
And so where those technologies will find themselves is without a doubt inside of buildings themselves because you think of every single sci-fi movie that you've ever seen reserves a threat against people, where do people go? [00:31:00] They don't go run to the open field, they'll inevitably find themselves inside of a building fighting for their lives to get back out the other side hopefully intact. It's what we're seeing today.
Technologies will play a large part in how that building can provide levels of protection. But in all instances, people naturally go to buildings for protection and that is essentially their guard and their charge is to protect the inhabitants within.
Holly Stone: Bill, that [00:31:30] really is in line with a lot of what I've been thinking about as I've been putting this together and then you and Barry and I spoke about on Monday. But even just looking at the civil unrest, mob style, the forced entry, what we're looking at is people trying to get into a building and then the people who are in the building trying to be saved.
It goes back, I think, to the very basic security parameter or paradigm [00:32:00] of the onion. You can't just rely on the envelope of a building although you really need that to slow people down and to get enough time so people can fall back. But there have to be multiple ways and multiple locations that people can go to... Multiple ways to protect, whether it is a deployable temporary wall system just inside the envelope of a building so there's [00:32:30] another layer but it's an unexpected layer. Or providing forced entry resistant doors on stairwells so that people can fall back into the emergency exits.
Another one would be if you want to obscure where people are, you can use theatric smoke that is nontoxic and can't hurt people that makes it so you can't see and that makes it people want to go the other directions. [00:33:00] But I think yeah, it's the interior of the building and with that is making sure that people are trained. The security folks know what to do once there's people marching down the roads or they hear about it and what the occupants need to do and make sure that they actually do it.
Bill Vondencamp: Right. What's really interesting is that the discussion that we've had in the past and that we continue to have is how can buildings [00:33:30] provide some of that initial level of protection in an event that's currently going on because not everybody is in a position now to adapt new protective changes to the facilities. A lot are looking for ways, "How can I make my current building work best for me today with what I've got until I can establish a budget that based on the need and the demand and the requirements of the facility? Help us out."
We think about it in the very basic state. Areas [00:34:00] of refuge that were thought about for fire protection are actually now really it's safe havens within facilities for people to go hide if there's some sort of an active shooter because they're out of line of sight and they provide little areas of respites. Typically, they're in [inaudible 00:34:15] rated corridors or stair towers that are typically often CMU block built, protected doors, not necessarily locked, but can be in certain instances if you put card readers and devices and certain tactics in situations but there are things [00:34:30] within the existing buildings that can provide just simple little measures.
But again, it really requires an in depth analysis and understanding of what is your potential threat.
Barry White: I think a lot of that, Bill, goes back to exactly what Holly opened with is new threats and no codes. A lot of these situations have exactly that and I think it's up to us in the protective community to help identify some of those solutions [00:35:00] because you're right, a lot of the clients don't have the money to spend on purpose built facilities so we have to be able to adapt technologies that work within their budgets to allow them to meet some of these threats.
Bill Vondencamp: Exactly.
Holly Stone: Yeah, Barry, that's really interesting because a tangent from that is we've been putting in these very robust, very significant doors and windows [00:35:30] and buildings for years and a lot of them have been federal buildings and a lot of federal buildings don't necessarily go through the typical local jurisdiction permitting process. So not everybody is completely aware of what's happening.
I did something years ago with Department of Homeland Security and the General Services Administration to look at what the impacts of these really robust doors and windows are on [00:36:00] first responders and firefighters or police officers who go about their regular business and if they don't know it's there, it can really cause problems.
It's that well, we have no codes, or few codes, for what we have now for protection, we have to make sure that they don't preclude meeting the codes that are actually out there for other types of life safety and building operations. I think that a complicated one because sometimes [00:36:30] it takes a while to figure out what the implications really are.
Barry White: Right.
Holly Stone: I see a question from the audience. I can't believe I get to see that.
From James, "Department of State, Department of Defense, and Department of Energy seem to have a security standard that they build to," which is absolutely correct. "How do we convince local state and other federal agencies that they need to embrace an overarching physical security standards?"
[00:37:00] Barry or Bill, do you want to take a first whack at that one?
Bill Vondencamp: Ooh, can I take first crack of this, Barry?
Barry White: Absolutely.
Bill Vondencamp: As a designer, as an architect, as basically someone who's asked to come in and provide analysis on what is our need. So its requirements, it's always at a proactive level of engagement. You're trying to get ahead of the situation before you deploy something that is then permanently reactive from that point forward. It's on [00:37:30] those front lines that these discussions are going to be had and will influence where codes and provisions are built to protect the various industries that we all serve to provide services to.
If you think about federal facilities, they've built these standards based on some of the very examples that Holly spoke about earlier. They tend to be on the front lines for direct and imminent attack in any and all locations across the world.
But if you talk to a local state or [00:38:00] local municipality, their threats are different and they don't necessarily have the thought process or the mindset to protect their assets or their personnel because they're a public domain. They're expected to be out in public and it's mom and pop working down the street walking into the building every day and they do their job, they go home. But the threat is changing.
If the thought can become more prevalent and the thought can really become more of a, "How can [00:38:30] I protect the house or protect the facility?" And that is something that us, as design professionals, can provide to our clients is, "Have you thought about this thing? Here's examples from past projects and clients that have talked about it and here's some methods that they use successfully," and start a conversation in that matter.
Barry White: I agree, Bill.
A lot of it has to come from the design side but also from the product side. So from a product perspective, [00:39:00] I think that the manufacturing community, those of us that are there providing products and services into the protective industry, we need to take a look at that and that's an opportunity for some investment in R&D research. Right now, there are no standards. Just as Holly opened with. No standards mean we don't have a roadmap to get us to that product development.
However, we all know that there's active shooter situations, [00:39:30] there's civil unrest situations that need to be addressed, and as a manufacturer, I know that our business is interested and is currently developing applications utilizing things such as multipoint locking systems, electrification of those systems so that we can provide egress and ingress of personnel in public facilities, and then also developing [00:40:00] In looking at standards that maybe we don't need Department of State level protection but we need to design so that they can't throw a brick through the front of the building and just walk right into the facility.
I think a lot of it's going to be incumbent upon the manufacturing and the product community to help identify materials that can meet some of those threats and then working with groups like ASTM and trying to develop additional standards [00:40:30] that can then be incorporated into those public facilities.
Holly Stone: Building on both of those, I think part of it is educating or providing informative briefings to these other types of organizations to commercial buildings.
There's a couple things I think about but one really has always struck me is that in [00:41:00] residential construction, if you put in fire sprinkler systems, when you construct it, which is say a $5,000 investment, over the course of the next 10 years, the insurance, whoever's living in there, is decreased because they have that one protective measure.
It's how to convince people that maybe you put a little money in upfront but really, it not only gives you safety and security, it gives you some sort of a monetary [00:41:30] incentive as well. I think that it's that type of way that we can get it into the other location.
One thing I want to add is right now there are state and local municipalities, there are private developers, private building owners who have taken the step to look at what they're [00:42:00] doing and say, "What more can I do?" I applaud all of them because everything that they are doing is beyond code and all they're really required to do is to build to code.
I think the education has begun and I think it's the larger organizations and maybe some of the smaller, more nimble municipalities that are able to do it but I think it is starting to go into more of the [00:42:30] mainstream of the world as well.
Bill Vondencamp: Just one additional point, Holly.
Holly Stone: Yeah.
Bill Vondencamp: Federal activities drive industry heavily. They always have, always will. So that is really in many, many regards the frontline.
Let me give an example of a similar circumstance. You touched on this topic earlier when you were talking about cyberattacks.
Well, cybersecurity was just a [00:43:00] buzzword back in the early 2010, 2011, and now all of a sudden, come the mid decade, all of a sudden, cyberattacks are every day and now we're addressing customers and clients who say, "Hey, we think we have this need but we're not sure what it is. Can you help educate us what this is all about?" We met a lot of federal institutions that it was such new information to them, they didn't even know how to react to it, and [00:43:30] how to implement things were being written as far as requirements for them.
That has since turned around and they've embraced what is happening to them on more of a daily basis and it's really latched on. Now, that's almost the first conversation we have now is we're prepared, we know what to do, we've become educated. You're seeing that across industry in total for cyberattacks.
I think this has a very similar type of opportunity here that federal can really get [00:44:00] ahead of this thing with understanding how facilities do respond and react.
Barry White: I also look back upon the windstorm and hurricane codes back when those were initially adopted, there was a great deal of resistance to those codes but the insurance community got involved in that and it was a liability for them not to have the buildings protected and they ended up pushing [00:44:30] a lot of the drive towards moving to windstorm protection and hurricane type windows.
There may be an opportunity on the lower protective levels for the insurance industry to again become involved particularly if the civil unrest continues and there had to have been millions and millions of dollars of losses during the election period and shortly after the inauguration last year.
Holly Stone: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:45:00] I'm going to change topic a little bit. We have a question from Abdel. "In an international settings, some countries do not have local products that meet these minimum protection standards. If so, you have to rely on importing the products. Can you speak about deployment and maintenance of such products especially active products like retractable bollards that can become dangerous if they no longer function properly because of a lack [00:45:30] of maintenance?"
Barry, I want to throw that to you to start it off since you are on the manufacturer side and providing these products.
Barry White: I think a lot of that boils down to selecting the proper manufacturer. When you're selecting the products that are appropriate for your facility, you have to look at the companies' wherewithal to support those on the basis of where they're going to be installed.
[00:46:00] Norshield was formerly in the barrier and bollard business. We're very familiar with some of the challenges of that and Abdel is right. You get these things in some countries that are emerging, you do not have active resources available. So it's the preventive maintenance then that becomes critical, ensuring the ongoing operation of some of those pieces of equipment. [00:46:30] It requires discipline, it requires diligence, and it requires a trained team to be able to go through those things and then contact the manufacturer when they find items that aren't operating as they should.
Holly Stone: I think also one thing that's important to look at is to make sure that what you're installing or what you're being asked to install [00:47:00] is if you don't have a lot of maintenance capabilities, you want to keep it as simple as possible.
Barry White: Absolutely.
Holly Stone: If there is the possibility of something that's a manual operation as opposed to a hydraulic or an electric operation, that may be the best solution in those locations. And if you do go to, for instance, an electric operability, you have to look at the conditions that it's [00:47:30] being designed in and it's being deployed in.
I think that often retractable bollards probably can be one of the more problematic barrier systems to install in more remote areas because they do take quite a bit of maintenance as opposed to, for instance, a drop arm or something along those lines.
Bill, any thoughts on that?
Bill Vondencamp: Yeah. When we were talking about design with facility managers, [00:48:00] it's all about how do you plan to staff and maintain different provisions for your building and how it's going to function. That's usually one of the... Security is always one of the very first things we're talking about and it's one of the things that continuously gets talked about until the very final design is actually installed in the field because it is an evolving technology and it's also an evolving demand and need for personnel to...
Let's just face it. At the end of the day, it boils down to people [00:48:30] maintaining and keeping these facilities, operating for safety, not only for the occupants inside but in an imminent threat. Having technologies and tools that they know how to use is first and foremost.
We're huge advocates for finding as many locally sourced products and materials and resources as conceivably usable for our facilities. But oftentimes, you just can't find them there and you have to bring them to the facility [00:49:00] from somewhere else usually across the globe.
Korea is a great example of where we bring a lot for federal installations in Korea which is essentially an active war theater. We have to bring products and services to them that meet the demands and requirements of the facilities based on U.S. standards. But that's not to say the same for other countries and other locations. You have to work to the local environment of what they're willing to do and we have to sort that out.
Holly Stone: Yeah. I [00:49:30] think what I've started to see is more manufacturers opening up or starting to produce in the Middle East or Northern Africa. Manufacturers are starting to see... They have to take it to their customers and I think that, A, reduces costs to the people who are buying them but also gets your maintenance people and gets your manufacturers closer to the event as it were so they're more able [00:50:00] to help people, help you in managing your systems.
We have a question from Jamie, which is, I think, Bill, this is very much you. "How do you view the challenge of balancing the creation and implementation of countermeasures for all of these emerging, existing, and future threat vectors while keeping the building's functional, pleasant to occupy, and aesthetically pleasing to look at?"
That's all you, Bill.
Bill Vondencamp: [00:50:30] It's totally easy to do. What can I say?
Anybody can be an architect in design facilities but actually, it's incredibly challenging. It really boils down to... And I hate to say this, people are probably going to react negatively to this, but it's about priorities.
Facility can't take on... If you had enough money, you can make any facility do anything you wanted to do in any number of ways except for two. One, it can't pick itself up and hover over the ground so no one can reach it and two, it can't move away [00:51:00] from the site that you planted it. It's stuck permanently there. So besides those two things, a building, a structure can do whatever you want it to do. There's a way to make it work.
There are enough technologies out there to make a completely transparent building that is open, warm, and inviting, it can do anything you want it to do. And in response to security threats, there's levels that you can provide to it that... Ballistic protections and things like that. It's clear and it's integrated and essentially invisible.
There [00:51:30] are technologies to make it work and it's up to us to work with the future owners of the facility of how do you want the building to look, feel, and act? And that's really a part of what's your message? What is your front door saying about yourselves? Or what are you trying to do? We really try to get to the source of that in our line of work and what we do.
Holly Stone: Bill, one of the things that has always captured my mind because it's one of the things we see the most is lobbies. [00:52:00] How do we take all of these things that our lobbies are supposed to... We're supposed to keep people out, we're supposed to let people in, we're supposed to know what they're taking in, we're supposed to be checking their badges. How do we take all of those things that are inherently maybe not the most welcoming things to do? How do we take that and make it something that the users can flow through, occupants can flow through, and it feels welcoming [00:52:30] and accepting, and yet still meet all the other requirements?
Bill Vondencamp: Lobbies are essentially the integration of every single aspect of people trying to engage that facility at the same time because your maintenance people will come in there, your guests will come in there, your users will come in there, you come in there. The lobby is the central haven to everything and so it has to react a number of different ways.
At the very least, in today's technology, turnstiles are the big [00:53:00] thing that hold people back at a pace that their personnel can respond to in any given day. In the case where it's overrun or it's too much to manage for throughput, it has to be adaptive and has to change. And so you look to school houses for potentially how throughput is dealt with.
To give an example. Military training deals with secure access to facilities and they put several 100 students into the front door of a facility [00:53:30] within 20, 30 minutes. That's a different measure than if you would have let's say the Capitol building which is a completely different circumstance. How the lobby reacts is just you have to deal with throughput but then you also have to deal with a line of defense beyond just the people walking in your front door.
Typically, there's layers, and you mentioned that earlier today with your onion analogy. There's always different layers within the lobby to keep people from going so far into the facility. The deeper back into the facility you go, [00:54:00] the more secure the facility becomes. That's typically the lobby is almost the outermost perimeter when you're inside the perimeter of the building itself.
Holly Stone: Yes. I want to follow up on a little bit of that taking it to a different direction momentarily but we have a followup from Abdel is, "Do you have any examples of those open and warm buildings that also have invisible protective measures?"
Bill Vondencamp: [00:54:30] I do. Some of them are secure so I can't mention some of those out loud. They come with three letters and they do stuff like that. But you can. You can find any number of different...
Like U.S. embassies are a great example of a public outward setting that really it's all about the image of America in another country. What does that image look like? Typically, it's inviting, it's an open warm front door, it's not supposed [00:55:00] to be a compound unless you're at a place where they really want the image to be a compound. But design excellence in U.S. embassies really expands what that image can look like.
And so I highly recommend you do look through U.S. embassies deployed across the world. They're some of the most amazing facilities you'll find.
Holly Stone: I have one other example. I worked years and years ago on the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency regional headquarters [00:55:30] in Denver, Colorado. And while you can see some of the security that are there because you can see scanning and x-rays.
They put it all together with very interesting overhead artwork. They included a lot of green walls and water features that you can all see from the lobby, you can hear from the lobby, and it's almost like [00:56:00] they're doing the misdirections like, "Look over here. Okay, while you're doing that, please go through the x-ray." They're trying to create this feel that makes you ignore maybe the hassle, the concern of going through the different security measures as well.
Bill Vondencamp: Right. Landscaping plays a huge part in just that open appearance. It's really about people engaging at the ground level as they approach the facility. That is essentially the front door aspect and the image [00:56:30] that you convey and then once you approach the building, the levels become more intense. And Barry can tell you that. His frontline comes in the first time you touch the facility.
Barry White: Right. So we're-
Holly Stone: The segue from that one is we talked a little bit about on Monday about if you could have a magic wand and create a product that we can use in buildings. What would your first [00:57:00] product that you create? What would that be?
Barry White: [inaudible 00:57:03] Be the force field!
Holly Stone: There you go.
Barry White: That's what we talked about.
Holly Stone: That's mine.
Barry White: Instead of having... Then you can use a one-inch architectural glazing and use your force field behind that to protect from the physical threats. But the technology's not quite there yet so we've got these other technologies we're employing in the meantime until someone a lot smarter than me figures out how to invent [00:57:30] that force field.
Holly Stone: Bill?
Bill Vondencamp: Yeah, if we did force fields, man, we wouldn't even need windows anymore. We're talking about open air. It'd be awesome.
Barry White: That's true.
Bill Vondencamp: But I think what we're starting to see and what we're starting to envision on the design side is that part of the conversation we had a little bit earlier was the building has to react to threats. The building doesn't do it on its own. It has to be told to do it and forced to do [00:58:00] it and coerced to do it by the people who manage the facility. It is at the very bottom line, the commonality to all things that are a threat is a human reaction. The change in the industry is going to move from human reaction to intelligence and artificial intelligent reaction.
It's already here. As you see, trucks driving up and down the street. It's already here in different industries that are deploying mechanisms where they can be at airports or... It's all around us.
I think industry is going to embrace artificial [00:58:30] intelligence as predictive analytics and how a building responds in the face of danger or threats. It's probably more reachable new tech that's probably more bleeding edge at this point so it's not too far gone but it's really, really not quite vetted out yet.
Holly Stone: I think from those two things that you guys have said if we could have a building with things like force fields or things that can change things, [00:59:00] Bill, you said a building that reacts to the situation, so if our buildings could be constructed and instrumented in such a way that if...
We already do it. If it's getting hot, the building cool. If the sun is shining, the building will switch where the sun shades are. But what if you could do... If the air is poor, [00:59:30] it actually probably does already, it changes the airflow or if there is a hurricane coming... All of these things, how the building can change to inherently address all of these different threats and attacks and hazards. Actually, as I just said, all of that, not necessarily that far away.
Bill Vondencamp: No, a lot of those things currently exist. They're just more of a... They're really routed [01:00:00] in air control systems, that they are already starting to have detectors that sniff out certain contaminants in the air and can shut and manipulate airflow. You're already doing it with your occupancy sensors with CO2. Your lights turn on and off because you have a CO2 sensor. It's not really artificial intelligence but it is really a reaction to the simple things that are in the facility. It's a low cost solution.
Those things combined, the technology is really advancing exponentially so I wouldn't be surprised to see [01:00:30] various doors that they see more than so many people coming towards them, they're going to just shut itself down or lock itself up in case the guy that's having a coffee at the front desk can't hit the button.
Barry White: It's the integration of all those individual systems and then combining that with, as Bill mentioned, some form of AI to manage all of that and process that information. It's almost limitless what the [01:01:00] potential is for it.
Holly Stone: Yep.
Matt, I see you're on. Do we have time to answer one more question?
Matt Morgan: Yeah, I was actually going to say we do have one more question. Let's get to that. And if more come in, we'll keep going.
Holly Stone: Okay.
The question is from Matthew. "Due to COVID and the likelihood of many not returning to the federal workplace, there's discussions about extensive repurposing of space. [01:01:30] Knowing costs have always been a poor excuse for risk [inaudible 01:01:36]. What is a palatable sales pitch to government to consider crisis architecture as renovations are being considered?"
Yeah, that is really interesting question. Barry or Bill, do you want to jump in on that?
Bill Vondencamp: I'm still trying to unpack it.
Holly Stone: [01:02:00] Okay.
Bill Vondencamp: It's pretty loaded here.
Holly Stone: Let me... Oh, go ahead.
Bill, you go.
Bill Vondencamp: Repurposing of space, that is essentially what federal government does with their facilities forever. You build a 50-year facility and it's going to get repurposed numerous times over depending on change in mission and things like that just specifically to federal.
Crisis architecture as a thought in how buildings react [01:02:30] and how deployment of safety measures can be put inside of a facility like areas of refuge or lockdown of classrooms, how you do line of sight, how you trained the facility personnel there to respond to attacks, it's all integrated. It's all part of the same kind of equation and how do you solve the puzzle in the right way for your particular client. There's not going to be one solution for all. It's going to be very custom.
I think it's an engagement [01:03:00] level that us as the industry leaders for design and how we react and respond and how we think things can go, we have the ability to influence that heavily in our conversations and what we know.
Holly Stone: I absolutely agree. Again, thinking back to the previous Proto-Talk on crisis architecture. One of the things that Daveed spoke about was instead of having very long, straight hallways is to just put some bends [01:03:30] in the hallways so there is a break in the line of sight.
I think that as the initial concepts and schematics are being put together, if the design team has their palette, has their toolbox of things that would be helpful to put into place, they can incorporate that into the design. And then, not only is it a design feature for aesthetics [01:04:00] and functionality, it can be explained what it will do from a protective aspect.
I think that by giving things these multiple purposes during the early stages of a design that we can, as an industry, get more of these inherent protections into buildings would be my thoughts on that.
Matt, I think we feel like we've taken [01:04:30] all the questions.
Matt Morgan: Yeah. Yep.
I did want to let the audience know that we have sent out a survey to your screen. So if you could please take some time and do that, that helps us over here at Protogetic create Proto-Talks, making sure that the content is interesting and we're answering or meeting the needs or expectations of what people want to hear [01:05:00] and listen to. So please do pay attention to that. Please do take it, we'd appreciate it.
But I think right now that wraps it up for the day. I'm on behalf of Protogetic and our sponsor, Gibraltar, thank you very much. You guys, this has been incredibly informative Proto-Talk and thank you for taking the time to come and talk to us.
Holly, as always, your contribution [01:05:30] is greatly appreciated. Barry, Bill, thank you for your time. It was really interesting.
Bill Vondencamp: [inaudible 01:05:37].
Matt Morgan: I am going to sign off the Proto-Talk now and say goodbye. Everyone, have a good day and stay safe out there.
Holly Stone: Everybody, thank you very much.
Barry White: Thank you, everyone.
Holly Stone: Bill and Barry, always great to chat with you guys. Thank you.
Barry White: Good to chat with you guys, too. Bye.
Holly Stone: Take care. Bye.
Matt Morgan: Bye-bye now.