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To hear architectural thought leaders tell it, the major problem facing architecture today is that of “soullessness”—in the words of award-winning AIA-fellow Travis Price: “It’s superficial. It’s mass produced. It’s empty.”
That may be the case in the grand scheme of things, but for the architects Total Security Solutions CEO Jim Richards works with, the major problem is pressure: Jobs need to be finished quickly, and quality suffers when a job is rushed.
In a fast-track scenario the client is obviously willing to accept a trade-off: if the building is done in 90 days, it’s OK that some doors stick. However, no architect wants to have to tell a client that their bullet resistant barrier system “has issues.”
Architects are Squeezed by “Fast-Track” Construction Schedules
As one architect explained, “Fast-track construction and modern procurement methods basically mean that projects begin with rushed drawings and insufficient prep. You end up playing constant catch-up as construction is progressing, churning out greater and greater levels of detailed drawings. It’s high pressure.”
Communication—both among the trades and contractors, and with the client—often suffers as the pressure mounts, with client service goals lost in the shuffle. In the heat of the moment, this can end up feeling like the client is being fickle or suddenly changing directions—but in reality, it’s often the result of the project’s performance goals being foggy from the start.
The compressed timeline translates to increased demand for just-in-time-delivery for everyone, which just isn’t possible. This variable workflow tends to cause log jams and downtime, with parties pushed to hurry up, only to find themselves waiting for some other phase of the project to catch up. This architect concluded: “In reality, quality suffers compared to more thoughtful work, and more wasteful practices are encountered—tearing out work and replacing to address unforeseen changes, and so on.”
All of this is compounded when the structure includes a bullet resistant barrier or access control system, which need to meet structural and security goals without impeding business processes, interfering with the building’s mechanicals, or creating issues with NFPA and ADA compliance.
Bullet Proofing Consultants Keep You On Track, Under Budget, and Exceeding Expectations
Total Security Solutions has decades of experience partnering with architects to smoothly integrate bullet resistant barrier systems into both new construction and renovation projects.
As TSS CEO Jim Richards explained, “We don’t like to brag, but we’re really good at uncovering client needs when it comes to bullet proof systems. We especially watch for those little details—how packages are exchanged, how much foot traffic an area sees, heating and cooling issues–that can make a system that looks great on paper perform terribly in real life.”
Because of their experience with custom bullet proof system design, engineering, fabrication, and installation, TSS is able to absolutely minimize workflow problems. They work closely with architects, clients, and contractors to assure the system is properly designed and perfectly installed.
Helping Architects Work Through the Gaps in their Knowledge
You can’t be expected to know everything about the current best practices or newest advancements in forced-entry rated transparency and blast resistant ballistic windows, or bullet proof paneling, or sustainable bullet proof design.
For example, although aftermarket bullet proof “films” often get good press, they haven’t been shown to actually work when it comes to stopping bullets. Similarly, TSS has long been sensitive to the ways in which a good bullet proof barrier must integrate with building operations and HVAC. More recently, they’ve been developing higher R-value ballistic transparency and framing solutions, for projects in which both high security and sustainability or LEED certification are priorities.
The key, of course, is bringing in your bullet proofing consultants early so they can help you through the entire design process.
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