Safety and Security

The design of a building and its surrounding environment serves as the frontline in safety and security. While there are many approaches to implementing and maintaining security, one of our go-to strategies is through CPTED.

What is CPTED?

CPTED stands for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. It is a method of design that encourages the safety of building structures and those within and around them. Through simple additions like bright lighting, fence installation, and informational signage, safety can be encouraged and enforced. Kluber Architects + Engineers has a CPTED-certified Safety and Security Designer on-staff who is available to advise on projects and encourage safe environments.

CPTED is a multi-disciplinary approach to design, which means there are 4 types of changes that can help prevent crime. Those 4 areas include:

1. Natural surveillance
2. Natural access control
3. Territorial reinforcement
4. Maintenance and management

There isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach for enforcing and maintaining building security. However, CPTED serves as a critical tool for design professionals to use when it comes to implementing a wholesome safety strategy, utilizing the four focus areas included above.

Natural Surveillance - CPTED

Natural Surveillance

Natural Surveillance is achieved by placing physical features on a property in order to improve the overall visibility. It can also involve removing features such as shrubs or trees to increase visibility around a building.

The goal of natural surveillance is for individuals to “see and be seen” in an aesthetically pleasing environment. As a result, it limits the opportunity for crime on a property. When you eliminate the areas that offer concealment of some kind, it naturally reduces the potential for suspicious activity.

Natural Access Control - CPTED

Natural Access Control

Natural access control is the placement of walkways, fences, or landscaping to provide guidance for people on a property. This method of security clearly defines entranceways and access points to a building, ensuring that visitors can easily determine the accessibility of the property.

For example, properties with security fencing, clearly marked unit numbers, and lighted signs all communicate to visitors whether they are permitted in the space. By incorporating these elements into a space, it reduces the likelihood of unwanted visitors on a property. Individuals are less likely to put effort into accessing a building or site if there are significant barriers to entry.

Territorial Reinforcement - CPTED

Territorial Reinforcement

Territorial reinforcement uses physical barriers to show ownership of a property. It separates your owned space from that of non-authorized visitors. This is usually done through signage, flags, pavement design, or fencing that communicates to visitors where access may be restricted.

Not only does territorial reinforcement provide clear communication to those on a property, but it also illustrates overall ownership of a space. When a building or site is properly managed through territorial reinforcement, unwanted visitors are less likely to encroach on that space.

Maintenance and Management - CPTED

Maintenance and Management

The maintenance and management aspect of CPTED is the process of keeping up with a property to communicate that it is regularly accessed, maintained, and monitored. In a nutshell, it involves the regular upkeep of a space.

Unkempt properties can be contagious in that they can encourage other nearby properties to also become neglected. Through regular upkeep, building owners can mitigate any perception that the area is in decline or not being owned. As a result, the propensity for crime is reduced.

How Does CPTED Reduce and Prevent Crime?

CPTED helps prevent crime by limiting the opportunity for it to occur on a property. It is not a guaranteed solution to crime prevention, but rather, is one of many strategies that facilitates a safe environment. When properties are designed and maintained in a way that increases overall visibility and establishes public versus private boundaries, the likelihood of misconduct is lessened.

The Broken Window Theory

When spaces are broken, dilapidated, or run-down, it can be perceived as an area that lacks ownership, which in turn communicates that future damage is considered acceptable. Simply maintaining and monitoring your space to the best of one’s ability can aide in preventing small crimes ranging from graffiti to theft. The “maintenance and management” area of CPTED helps prevent the Broken Window Theory from taking foothold in communities.

What Are Some Examples of CPTED?

Some examples of CPTED principles being put into practice include defining walkways, repairing any damaged property, installing surveillance systems, and more. CPTED strategies can look different from property-to-property, but the intent of each strategy remains the same: to reduce the likelihood of crime occurring in the space through intentional building design, technology, and environmental details.

Natural Surveillance

Territorial Reinforcement

Natural Access Control

Maintenance and Management

Learn More About CPTED

Kluber Architects + Engineers is proud to have a CPTED-certified Safety and Security Designer on staff who can advise on a property’s crime prevention. If you’re eager to learn about how Kluber implemented CPTED methodologies, reach out to our Safety and Security Designer, Joel Murphy, today:

Joel A. Murphy, APP, CPD

Joel A. Murphy, APP, CPD

Safety and Security Designer, Kluber, Inc.

Certifications: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Professional Designation
Issuing authority: National Institute for Crime Prevention Associate Protection Professional
Issuing authority: ASIS International

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