Contact Us
Sponsored Content

4 Benefits Of Thinking About Security Early In The Design Process


In the past, security was one of the last things on the minds of real estate designers and developers. To them, considering security meant installing secure doors, an alarm system and perhaps having facilities for a security team. This would be planned while working on interior design, long after the initial blueprints had been drawn up. 

Today, it is possible to take a more proactive approach to security. Factoring security into the design of a building early on can bring benefits beyond keeping a building secure. It can lead to reduced costs, sustainability gains and the opportunity to integrate more effectively with other proptech systems.

Bisnow spoke to Hansel Oh, senior manager of product marketing at cloud-based access control provider Brivo, about the top four benefits of factoring security into the early stages of building design.

Design Technology Can Save Time

Computer-aided design and building information modeling technologies have advanced significantly in the last few years. Using them to their full potential early on in planning can create a thorough design that takes all elements into account.

“Today, if you update one element of one drawing in a BIM system, this automatically updates all other drawings,” Oh said. “You can save a huge amount of design and engineering time before construction has begun.”

Oh gave the example of implementing an access control panel for additional security. A template for installation can be created in a BIM solution, which can simply be copied and pasted where it is needed in a model. From the beginning, the construction team knows what will be needed. 

Using cloud-based design tools has the added benefit of allowing a team to work on a building design from anywhere, Oh said. 

Lower Construction Costs 

Across the market, costs are rising. Increased labor costs, high inflation and supply chain restraints mean the overall cost of construction materials has spiked on average 19% year-over-year

“On top of that, there’s pressure on profitability,” Oh said. “You have to find ways to control spend if cost increases are out of your control. Planning security early not only adds a predicted cost to the balance sheet but reduces wasted materials and time when a property has to be reworked to install a security system.”

Considerations include how people might leave a building in an emergency — are doors in the right place? Do cameras and sensors have the right sight lines? Planning this early on will reduce waste.

It is possible for a BIM solution to link with other systems, such as accounting. In this case, when a BIM model is updated, the information is fed directly into the balance sheet, giving a clear insight into costs from an early stage. Crucially, this removes the possibility for surprise costs further down the line, Oh said. 

A Clear Sustainability Boost

An estimated 23% of waste in the U.S. is from construction and demolition. Minimizing any waste by getting the design right the first time can help developers reduce their contribution to this number. 

ESG is now a key concern of all large corporations, including their carbon footprint,” Oh said. “Often, when security is considered later, a building has to be reworked, such as new doorways added to create the right exits or technology installed to introduce sensors in the right places. This is only going to increase waste.”

Integration With Other Building Systems

By factoring security features into the early design process, building owners can better integrate these features into their cloud-based building management systems. This means tenants can do everything from unlocking the door to booking a meeting room all from one system.

If a developer plans to hand the building over to a new owner, it will pay to create a building that can be managed effectively, Oh said. Putting the new landlord in a good position could be a differentiator for a developer.

“Planning early means you can create a highly usable building with seamless access,” he said. “We’ve all moved away from a world of brass keys and are moving away from key fobs to mobile access.” 

Data from a cloud-based system also allows a building owner to understand who is accessing the building when and how, which helps with future planning, Oh said. A well-planned security system can be scaled as the needs of building users evolve. Cloud-based technology can be designed to allow for more control panels or new innovative amenities, further future-proofing a property.

“A building owner will be aware that it might change from tenant to tenant,” he said. “It pays to be able to add features or hardware or to integrate with a proptech system with other capabilities. Appointing the right software vendor will help a developer achieve this.”

This article was produced in collaboration between Brivo and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

Studio B is Bisnow’s in-house content and design studio. To learn more about how Studio B can help your team, reach out to