Building security with plastics and glass

Security is of ever-increasing importance in new construction. Interestingly, these security requirements are likely to lead to a proliferation of plastics in many building projects.

Once considered an anathema to aesthetics in the built environment, plastics of all kinds have been, and will continue to be, used as a means of providing improved security.
Blast- and Storm-Resistant Windows

In commercial buildings where the risk of terrorist attack is significant, or in areas prone to severe weather, particularly tornadoes and hurricanes, polycarbonate glazing, hard-coated or clad with glass or acrylic glazing, can provide protection and visual clarity with lighter unit weights than traditional laminated glass. Such glazing can be used throughout the building, or only on lower floors, depending on the specific threat assessment for the facility. Protection can be provided from UL1 to UL8, the highest level available.

Even greater resistance can be engineered into glazing systems by combining thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) film interlayers with an assortment of glass and engineering plastics. New technologies have also been developed that allow the on-site application of polymer sheets to double-glazed windows in commercial applications, providing blast and some intrusion resistance for new construction and modernization projects.

Safe Rooms

Many corporate and government buildings where security issues are paramount now specify the inclusion of one or more safe rooms. Their walls are often constructed of insulated concrete forms. Where the threat is more likely, steel stud walls, clad with hardened steel, fiberglass panels, and Kevlar can also be used.

600450 Building security with plastics and glass
Date: 11 July 2003

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