When designing or renovating a student housing facility, square footage, number of occupants and budget are often top design considerations. Designing for student safety ranks even higher, say the experts at KWK Architects.
The safety and security industry is moving toward more personalized security systems where a user’s data resides directly on access cards to gain entry to student housing facilities and fingerprinting or other biometric processes are being used to access secure areas, according to Javier Esteban, AIA, LEED AP, KWK Architects. The new generation of security cameras also provide higher definition images at lower lighting levels, with the ability to cover much wider angles, creating a very strong, multi-layered security system.
The prices of these sophisticated devices are coming down and becoming more affordable for many universities. The level of sophistication of new access control system technology can provide nearly instantaneous data on what key was used and when the entry was accessed and locked and could also provide control of locking from the outside via a website in cases of wired electronic door hardware. This technology can also provide a vital tool for forensic examination should a security breach occur.Javier Esteban, AIA, LEED AP
Safety high technology in student housing design may include:
Esteban says traditional design theories that incorporate basic layers of security and the human element on site, throughout the building and in individual units, should still apply in student housing designs and complement the use of technology. These include:
In the end, when it comes to designing for security, the good guys must always have it right, but the bad guys only need to breach these systems once. Despite all the new, more advanced technologies available, having the right human behind or in front of this technology makes all the difference.Esteban
KWK Architects partners with colleges and universities across the United States to create innovative and inspiring places that enhance campus life. Areas of expertise include student housing and dining, and academic and science/technology spaces.