Recommendation 2: Building protection systems should be designed and implemented on a case-by-case basis for each structure to be protected.


The design and implementation of an appropriate and effective building protection system depends on many factors. These include the architecture, quality of construction, and condition of the building to be protected; the components to be used in the system (such as sensors and video monitoring); and the financial resources allocated for its design, implementation, and maintenance. To further complicate the matter, every building is unique because of the variations in its architecture and design, the materials used in and personnel who performed its construction, and wear and tear. All of these factors should be systematically considered before funds are committed to implementing building protection systems.


Recommendation 3: Life-cycle costs should be planned for prior to deploying building protection systems.


The complete life-cycle cost of a building protection system—including cost of planning, purchase, installation, maintenance, operation, and upgrade of all its components—should be considered prior to developing and implementing a building protection program. An effective building protection system requires proper integration of security technologies with building architecture and proper use of the system by building occupants. Integrating a protection system at the time of construction is typically less expensive and more efficient than retrofitting. Moreover, a building protection system will not be effective if it is not properly maintained, a significant consideration in life-cycle costs. A poorly maintained system quickly compromises the level of security expected of that system, leads to a false sense of protection, and could result in disruptive and expensive false alarms. For example, a high-level active protection system (level of protection 4 [LP-4], as described in Chapter 3) would only have performance equivalent to a passive protection system (LP-1 or LP-2) if the sensors are not maintained. Like passive filters, components of sensor systems have defined lifetimes and must be replaced periodically. They also need to be calibrated and tested for performance periodically. Therefore, a functional building protection system is not a one-time investment, but requires monetary resources for maintenance, repair, replacement, and upgrade of the system and its components. Finally, it is the exception within the federal government to budget for operation and maintenance costs, such as those that will be involved in building protection. Because these costs are likely to be higher than anticipated, advanced planning and budgeting are necessary to avoid loss of protection capability because it is seen by ultimately responsible local commanders as less important than the core mission.

The components to be used in a protection system are determined partly by the budget. Active protection systems tend to be more expensive than passive



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