Jan. 19, 2007
Top 10 security measures everyone should know. Results from IREM’s data-security survey. Six tips for green development. ASHRAE provides IAQ guidance. And more.

Top 10 Security Measures Everyone Should Know
There is no doubt that we are living in challenging and dangerous times. Every day, we are seemingly barraged with new security and terrorist threats. Security is among the most important topics of discussion and planning for building owners and tenants. It is critical to everyone’s safety and well-being that government-owned and privately owned buildings reassess their security needs.

For building professionals looking to maximize their security programs, focus on the following 10 security measures:

  1. Train guards to observe strange or suspicious behavior. Individuals wearing unusual/inappropriate clothing (heavy clothes in the summer), who seem out of place, and/or are asking a number of questions should be carefully observed.
  2. Guards should check the identification of any contractor, delivery person, or visitor. Without valid identification, that individual should not be allowed inside the facility.
  3. In addition to checking vendor identification, all employees should be provided with identification cards that include their name and employer. All information should be checked by guards upon entrance to the building.
  4. Any abandoned packages or items, such as briefcases, should be reported to the proper authorities. This is not just a security measure for airports and subway stations.
  5. Any recycling containers or garbage cans that are close to the building or in a parking garage should be immediately relocated.
  6. All driveway entrances closest to the building should be closed off; any vehicle wishing to gain access to the building must present proper identification.
  7. Lighting around the entire parking lot area or garage, as well as all building doors, should be fully functional. Where appropriate, lighting should be increased.
  8. All video surveillance cameras should be tested. The need for more cameras or better cameras should be evaluated.
  9. Ensure that all officers are highly visible and in proper uniform to act as a deterrent to any potential intruders. As professionals in the security business say, “Harden the Target.”
  10. Keep your officers motivated and alert. Guards going above and beyond should be rewarded.

Dino Iuliano is vice president of operations at Planned Security Services Inc., a subsidiary of The Planned Cos. (www.plannedcompanies.com), Parsippany, NJ.

IREM Conducts Data Security Survey
U.S. Congress is considering legislation regarding the procedures that businesses must take when clients’ sensitive personal information is stolen, so the Chicago-based Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) recently conducted a survey of its members to gauge real estate managers’ points of view on the topic.

Thirty-seven (37) percent of Certified Property Managers (CPMs) have a written policy on data security. IREM recommends having a written policy, especially since the Arlington, VA-based Better Business Bureau reports that 89 percent of customers feel more confident in giving their personal information to a business with a detailed (but readable) policy. Thirty-nine (39) percent of CPMs are aware of state laws mandating that businesses provide notification to affected customers if a data breach occurs. Members can use the IREM State Legislative Database to find data security laws and proposals in their own states.

NAIOP Webinar Outlines Green Development Strategies
On Nov. 9, 2006, Jerry Yudelson, principal at Tucson, AZ-based Yudelson Associates, conducted a webinar for the Herndon, VA-based National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).

Developing Green: Strategies for Success in Green Developments discussed the costs associated with green buildings, presented examples of successful green developments, and educated building professionals on how to get the maximum benefit out of their investment in sustainable buildings. The box below lists some of Yudelson’s tips for developers and building owners interested in building green.

6 Tips for Green Development:

  1. Pre-certify your building as part of the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating program. The third-party certification is an established brand that gives value to the building. Early certification helps in the marketing and financing of the project.
  2. Use integrated design, not a “hand-off” building process. The contractor and engineer should be present from the beginning stages of the building’s design. This may increase the design costs, but will save on construction costs.
  3. Avoid perceptions about the cost of green building; do the research. According to Yudelson, the perceived cost of green building is high (3- to 15-percent higher than conventional building). The actual cost of a green building may be as small as a one-half-percent increase over a conventional building.
  4. To keep costs down, bring in architecture and design teams that are experienced in green building and integrated design. Push the mechanical-electrical design team to achieve more on the same budget.
  5. Market your building to the right tenants. Green buildings often appeal to a strong tenant pool, such as government agencies.
  6. Use (www.dsireusa.org) to find a complete list of the green-building incentives in your area.

ASHRAE Provides Advanced IAQ Guidance
Atlanta-based ASHRAE recently received a 3-year, $510,000 grant from the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. EPA to write the Advanced Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Design Guide for Non-Residential Buildings. The guide will help professionals implement high-performance designs, improve IAQ, increase energy efficiency, and decrease the environmental impact of exposure to air toxins in a broad range of non-residential buildings. The guide is slated for publication in late 2008.

NFPA 13 Adopts New Code Language
The 2007 edition of the Quincy, MA-based National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 13: Installation of Sprinkler Systems includes code language that clarifies the use of flexible sprinkler hose fittings and provides applicable guidelines. NFPA 13 now states that flexible sprinkler hose fittings supported by a suspended ceiling do not have to be independently supported from the building structure and should be used in accordance with its listings, including installation instructions. This addition gives building owners clear guidelines that simplify the product-submission process.

Warehouses Increasing in Size
According to market data from Chicago-based Grubb & Ellis, warehouses are getting larger. In the first half of 2006, the average size of warehouses under construction was 216,000 square feet, as opposed to an average of just 120,000 square feet in 2002. The cause of the growth, according to Grubb & Ellis, is today’s need for larger, more sophisticated distribution buildings. As of October 2006, 57 warehouses with 500,000 or more square feet were under construction in 15 states.

HSC Offers Advice for Healthier Schools
The Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC), based in Chicago, is offering a free multimedia guide to educate school officials on green cleaning. The Quick and Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools outlines five simple steps for setting up a program. The steps discuss switching to green products and equipment, adopting new cleaning procedures, introducing green paper and plastic products, and involving all school stakeholders in the process. An accompanying CD contains practical advice and sources to help schools learn even more. The HSC plans to distribute 50,000 copies of the guide. Author Stephen P. Ashkin, a leading national expert on green cleaning, says, “With several states looking at indoor air quality programs, and New York State requiring green cleaning in both public and private schools, it is just a matter of time before green cleaning becomes the standard.”

AAMA Introduces Rating System for Blast Hazard Mitigation
In response to the dangers of personal injury and fatalities from blast events, the Schaumburg, IL-based American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) now offers a testing and certification program for windows, glass doors, and curtainwall exposed to blast conditions.

Building owners can be assured that the approved products consistently meet the program requirements since the certification program allows for both product-specific and project-specific certifications. A typical manufactured window or door can be certified for a period of up to 8 years with ongoing quality-control monitoring.

GreenBiz Offers Tips on Constructing a Mold-Free Building
An increasing problem in new construction, mold can decrease the quality of indoor air in a building and cost thousands of dollars to remediate. GreenerBuildings, a newsletter produced by GreenBiz.com, gives the following tips for preventing mold:

  • A registered civil engineer and registered landscape architect should review and assess the site.
  • A third party should assess the strength of the building’s roof, wall assembly, and foundation.
  • A load analysis, equipment section review, control systems check, layout, and materials section review are all necessary.
  • The size, design, and use of the building should be matched appropriately to the plumbing system to manage moisture and condensation.
  • Moisture-sensitive materials should be identified and shipped, packaged, stored, and installed appropriately.
  • The building and site should be inspected every 3 months during construction to ensure that moisture-sensitive materials are not installed prior to sealing the building.
  • Building and maintenance personnel should be trained in preventing, spotting, and reporting moisture incidents.
  • An authorized third party should inspect the property’s appliances, pipes, drains, and other areas where condensation occurs.
  • Inspections should be ongoing, at least 4 times in the first year of occupancy.

Survey Reveals Technology Trends in Businesses & Buildings
The Realcomm/BOMA Technology Survey was given to over 7,000 BOMA members to identify the technology trends and knowledge gaps in the commercial real estate industry. Respondents were asked questions relating to solutions for their company/business and solutions for their buildings. Some highlights include:

Technology for Business

  • 67 percent expect cell-phone use to increase over the next 2 years.
  • Only 7 percent expect to use landline phones more often; 24 percent expect to use them less.
  • The most-used software and technology applications were accounts receivable/payable (87 percent), work-order processing (70 percent), and property-management software (61 percent).

Technology for Buildings

  • 86 percent of respondents have an Internet connection of T1 or higher.
  • 52 percent say that their building does not have a website.
  • 72 percent list “funding constraints” as the biggest challenge in implementing new technologies.
  • Building owners are most often responsible for making decisions on purchasing new technologies, say 24 percent of respondents. CIOs/CTOs and property managers are close behind (20 percent).

U.S. DOE Partnership Results in High-Efficiency Window
In early December, the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a next-generation window prototype with the potential to save billions of dollars annually in energy costs. For both residential and commercial applications, the window incorporates dynamic electrochromic glass, which can change from clear to dark via electronic controls. Additional features include low-E glass coatings, an unsealed internal plastic triple pane, krypton gas, and an insulating frame. According to the DOE, the long-term goal is to produce windows that are as energy efficient as today’s walls. This new advancement is the result of a collaboration between the DOE’s Berkeley, CA-based Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and SAGE Electrochromics Inc. of Faribault, MN.

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