Avoidable Communication and Functionality Design Errors For Bulletproof Glass Barriers

Aside from making sure the bulletproof glass barriers we manufacture are safe and secure for the people who work behind them on a daily basis, another factor that is very important is that those people can actually work behind them. Believe it or not, when working with architect specs and blueprints, oftentimes we see functionality errors in their proposed designs. Thankfully, these errors are all fixable by either working with a bulletproof glass expert early in the planning stages of the project, or by simply understanding the appropriate elements to incorporate into your bullet-resistant barrier systems.

Bulletproof Glass Communication Design Mistakes

Arch Window system

Arch Window System with Louvers and Currency Trays

If you’re designing a bullet-resistant barrier for a facility and the person behind that barrier needs to interact with the public, then communication is an essential element. If you don’t account for a communication device, the people on both sides of the bulletproof glass will resort to screaming and straining to find a way to hear each other. This will get even more awkward when a higher UL rated pane of glass is used because the glass gets thicker as the protection level goes up.

Common Bullet-Resistant Barrier Communication Mistakes

Incorporating the wrong bullet-resistant barrier system

One thing we see frequently when reviewing architect spec drawings is the wrong barrier system being incorporated into the facility. For instance, in a bank setting, there is no need to set up individual fixed transaction window displays for each teller station. Not only is this not aesthetically pleasing, but it isn’t functional either. With all of the additional ballistic aluminum framing involved in that type of design, it could also get expensive quickly. Instead, we recommend using a freestanding barrier system or an arch window system that allows for optimal visibility and natural sound transmission. If you want the glass to go all the way to the ceiling, we recommend a baffle system made with tempered glass to allow for natural airflow and sound transmission.

Natural Voice Transmission is optimal for interior applications. If you try to incorporate a Baffle System or NVR Transaction windows outside, optimal functionality and communication will be compromised. Instead, you will need to incorporate the appropriate Talk Thru port to compensate for any outside elemental noise interference.

Bulletproof Glass Functionality Design Mistakes

Along with being able to speak with each other through the bullet-resistant barrier, if the barrier is being installed into an area where something needs to pass between the glass, it is imperative to include the appropriate currency tray, package passer, or pass-thru drawer in your design. For banks, ticket windows, and other financial institutions, that could be as simple as a currency tray that can accommodate rolled coins. When you’re working on a barrier for a pharmacy, that tray needs to be deeper to support passing larger prescription bottles.

If you have larger items to pass, then it’s important to think about the incorporation of package passers, pass-thru drawers, or Lazy Susans. Not sure what works best? First, speak with your client and ask them exactly what everyday job functions they’ll need to perform through the barrier. From there, speak with a bulletproof glass design expert for their design recommendations. The earlier these little details are discovered and discussed the smoother your project will go. If you don’t account for specific functionality in your design and need to make changes after the fact, it’s possible that you will encounter project timeline delays and budget creep. This is why the planning phase of our three-phase approach to manufacturing custom bullet-resistant barrier systems is so crucial.

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