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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Parking placement and security with Control Risks

Aaron Thatcher, Associate Director, Crisis and Security Consulting, Control Risks, discusses the questions architects and developers should be asking themselves when it comes to parking placement and security.

Few architects get excited about vehicle parking, however, considerations around Climate change and demand for better human existence in cities continues to drive the overall trend of decreasing cars and increasing pedestrianized and public transit connections for new and regenerative urban developments.

Regardless of this trend, there will always be a need for vehicular accessibility, and therefore parking arrangements for any new development is a critical consideration from the earliest stages of planning.

In high-density environments, parking is often placed in basements or podia as part of the main building structure. This is efficient and there are also benefits from a crime reduction perspective, especially if the parking is access controlled, well lit, and afforded with video surveillance systems and operational staff.

However, parking in basements or podia creates additional and significant risks for new iconic buildings or, to put it another way, potential terrorist targets, particularly when considering publicly accessible locations and crowded places.

Control Risks
Control Risks

Architects and owners of these developments should ask themselves the following questions at a minimum:

  1. Has the project assessed and understood its security risks from the feasibility or project definition stage?
  2. Does the site afford sufficient space to incorporate security within its affection as balanced with other development objectives?
  3. If the project is a potential terrorist target can we offset parking, or use shared parking?
  4. If parking cannot be offset, is access control or screening feasible and with sufficient standoff distances based upon users, demand, and throughput?
  5. If controlling access and screening is not possible or desired, then has the project hardened the parking and vulnerable areas?

Where the answer is “No” to any of the above the project will likely have a higher exposure to potential vehicle-borne threats and carry higher levels of risk. Early engagement of built-environment security consultants helps architects and owners reduce risks and costs maintain the overall aesthetic of the project while contributing to overall success of the project outcomes.

www.controlrisks.com | IG: @controlrisks

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