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ISC Security Design Criteria for New Federal Office Buildings and Major Modernization Projects:

A Review and Commentary


In November 1999, GSA and the U.S. Department of State convened a symposium to discuss the apparently conflicting objectives of security from terrorist attack and the design of public buildings in an open society. The symposium sponsors rejected the notion of rigid, prescriptive design approaches. The symposium concluded with a challenge to the design and security professions to craft aesthetically appealing architectural solutions that achieve balanced, performance-based approaches to both openness and security. In response to a request from the Office of the Chief Architect of the Public Buildings Service, the National Research Council (NRC) assembled a panel of independent experts, the Committee to Review the Security Design Criteria of the Interagency Security Committee. This committee was tasked to evaluate the ISC Security Design Criteria to determine whether particular provisions might be too prescriptive to allow a design professional "reasonable flexibility" in achieving desired security and physical protection objectives.

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