Multitenant Buildings Have Multiple Security Needs

  April 5, 2012

This is Casey Laughman, managing editor of Building Operating Management magazine. Today's tip is that multitenant buildings have multiple security needs.

Things can get sticky when it comes to securing multitenant office buildings. That's because the security systems building owners install for the base building must meet not only the owners' needs, but also the expectations of tenants.

To prevent problems, focus on more than technology. One key to security in multitenant buildings is also the oldest, lowest-tech option available: Talking. Experts say that good communication between owner and tenants is the foundation for effective security in multitenant office buildings. Newcomb & Boyd associate partner David Duda says that one reason communication is so important is that different tenants often want different levels of security, says David Duda, associate partner at Newcomb & Boyd. While some may want significant screening of visitors and deliveries, others may have little concern for screening.

If those tenant desires aren't well understood and considered, the owner runs the risk of inadvertently causing tenant dissatisfaction. Face to face communication can go a long way toward alleviating problems.

As an example, government buildings frequently contain several government departments or agencies, and these tenants may well have different needs and require different systems. What's more, the tenant systems often communicate with different locations off-site. A common challenge is getting information needed to design the security system from the different entities in a timely manner.

Duda says one solution is a "security summit meeting" that pulled together representatives from each government department and agency involved in the project. He says his team mounted floor plans for each area on the walls of the conference room and went from tenant to tenant and floor-by-floor through the building until they had the information needed to implement the specific security measures in each area.


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