Architects: Consult Bullet Proof Experts Before You Design

Every building project has its headaches. It’s not easy to balance a client’s dreams against the concrete realities of fixed budgets and design constraints.  But when bullet proof glass is part of that design, those headaches can quickly multiply.

“We’re working on getting architects to contact us sooner, rather than later, in the project,” Total Security Solutions vice president Jim Richards explains. “It just saves them so much trouble if they talk through a design in advance.”

Bullet Proof Glass is Heavy

Completed Bulletproof Barrier of Jewelry Store Entryway

Completed Bullet Resistant Barrier in Lobby Area.

According to Jim, the number one cause of architect frustration is the sudden realization, late in the design process, that most bullet resistant materials are at least twice as heavy as their conventional counterparts.  For example, Jim pointed to a set of drawings he’d just received, which specified two 10-foot tall, 27-foot wide spans of bullet proof glass.

“So, right off, that’s going to have to be broken into four-foot sections—and even then, the glass alone for each section is over 700 pounds.  But they don’t have any structural reinforcement planned, to bear all the extra weight.”

Even a simple lobby retrofit can be painfully delayed–and creep up in cost–if that extra weight isn’t addressed in advance.  Are the existing counters sturdy enough to bear the heavier bullet resistant transparency, or will they need reinforcement?  Is there anchorage behind the wall to support the extra weight of a bullet proof door?  Are HVAC and fire suppression systems up to the task of dealing with a single room that, structurally, is going to be split in half by an impenetrable ballistic glass wall?

“Those are the kind of things that need to be examined when you’re dealing with this kind of beast.  If we can just get that call sooner, we can help them with planning for all of this.”

Bullet Proof Glass Consultation

Consulting with a bullet proof company early in the planning stages is more than just finding out which material will stop what bullet at whatever distance.  Jim and his team help architects and their clients find ideal solutions that maximize security and convenience while minimizing business downtime, unnecessary expenses, change orders, and other installation headaches.

Total Security Solutions has produced several free ebooks and video FAQs to help familiarize architects with the ins and outs of designing with bullet resistant glass, fiberglass, doors, and windows.  Their trained staff are eager to discuss how to tackle specific challenges in your current and future projects.

Next Steps

  • Visit our Architect Resource Center for Specs, CAD drawings, and more items designed to make your job easier
  • Already have specs drawn out? We’ll review them for you for free!
  • Check out our blog for more great articles about bulletproof glass

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