Safety and Security

The design of a building and surrounding environment serves as the frontline in safety and security. The term for this approach is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, or CPTED (pron: sep-ted) and should be a high priority for all buildings.

CPTED is a multi-disciplinary approach
  • Planning
  • Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Law Enforcement
  • Engineering

The Four Integrated Concepts OF CPTED

  • Natural Surveillance
  • Natural Access Control
  • Territorial Reinforcement
  • Maintenance and Management

Natural Surveillance

  • Natural Surveillance is maximizing visibility by physical features
  • Windows • Landscaping • Lighting • Activity Generators
  • “To see and be seen” in aesthetically pleasing environment

Natural Access Control

  • Placement of entrances, landscaping, furnishings, walls and lighting
  • Clearly defined entranceways and access points to a site or building
  • Security fencing, gates, and strategic vegetation
  • Wayfinding signage throughout the site

Territorial Reinforcement

  • Territorial Reinforcement uses physical barriers show ownership of a property
  • Use of fences, landscaping, signage, pavement designs and lighting to show borders

Maintenance and Management

CPTED includes active maintenance to ensure designed elements serve intended purposes.

  • Unkempt properties lead to further properties being unkempt
  • Perception that the area is in decline and not being owned
  • Proper maintenance protects the Quality of Life and promotes “Ownership” of a property.


CPTED Strategic Objectives

Architects and building managers can address security planning more effectively when they take a comprehensive approach in considering the mechanical, organizational and natural measures available in security strategies.

The objective of CPTED is the intelligent use of design and spaces to create optimal security protection in all types of facilities and environments.

Mechanical Concepts

 “Target Hardening” through use of hardware and technology systems.

  • Locks
  • Video Systems
  • Electronic Access Control
  • Lighting

Organizational Concepts

Focus on policies and activities of staff and patrons.

  • Security Staff
  • ID Badges, Electronic Check-in
  • Public Access Points vs. Employee Access Points
  • “See Something – Say Something”

Basic Design and Management Strategies

Putting a holistic plan and review process in place.

  • Plan for clear sight lines
  • Provide adequate lighting
  • Minimize concealed and isolated routes
  • Promote land use mix
  • Create a sense of ownership through maintenance and management
  • Provide signs and information
  • Improve overall design of the built environment


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

Contact: Direct 309. 429.6808

2401 E Washington, Suite 200-B2 | Bloomington, IL 61704 Phone 309.430.6460


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10 South Shumway Avenue
Batavia, Illinois 60510

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