The Importance of Balancing Site Security and Building Design

Rob Suddaby
Posted by Rob Suddaby
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Both architects and security specialists have to think carefully about how to effectively manage the flow of people into and out of a public site. But is it possible to strike the right balance between security and design?

For tips on how to avoid common entrance security mistakes, download our PDF guide: An Introduction to Entrance Security for Public Buildings

Think Function and Form

When businesses are looking at adding security solutions to their premises, the process is often not as simple as just installing a turnstile and checking IDs on the way in.

Particularly when dealing with public buildings, entrance security systems are expected to fit in with the overall architectural design of the site.

Integrate Entrance Security at the Design Stage

For new builds or renovations, access security systems should be part of the architectural concept for reception and entrance areas.

3D configurator tools allow entrance solutions such as speed gates to be visualised as part of the overall design. 

BIM (Building Information Modelling) objects, for example, can be dragged and dropped into any BIM system for architectural planning.

This helps create a digital description of every aspect of an entrance area, allowing interaction with the space to really optimise function and form.

Understand User Behaviour

Building occupancy, expected flow rates and the profile of when individuals are entering and leaving the premises help build an accurate picture of visitors' behaviour. This is critical when selecting a solution that ensures security but does not create bottlenecks and delays.



For instance, a typical office building will see the vast majority of people moving into the building in the morning and leaving at around the same time in the evening. Therefore, any entrance security solution needs to be able to maintain fast, smooth throughput at these times.

Consider the Visual Impact from a User Perspective

Avoid installing overly intimidating entrance control systems for public access buildings. Not only will they slow down visitor flow but they may also imply a higher level of risk than is really present. 

A friendly appearance will create a better user experience

This can make members of the public feel uncomfortable for the duration of their visit, not just while entering the building, and therefore detracts from their experience as a whole.

Download An Introduction to Entrance Security for Offices


Read more about how to integrate entrance security into building design using configurator tools and BIM models in Gunnebo's BIM library downloads page.

Read more about Gunnebo Entrance Security solutions.


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