Balance of functionality, security challenge for modern office building

CINCINNATI - It’s an imponderable that building owners confront every day in every city: How do you make a building both functional and secure?

“It is a very hard thing to balance,” said Nancy Kammer, president of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association, or BOMA. “It’s not only employees that keep the business going. Customers and clients make it function as well.”

But allowing access to employees, customers and clients – not to mention members of the general public – can put your building at risk, said Ed Bridgeman, a nationally-known terrorism expert.

“Any time you allow openings in your security system, it can be a problem,” said Bridgeman, associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati’s Clermont College. “If you go to the high-security buildings in Washington … they’re very circumspect about who they let in. If you open the door a crack, there’s always a chance somebody could slip through.”

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