Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Glimpse Into My Professional Life

. Tuesday, October 31, 2006

We had a design presentation at our firm where a couple of our architects presented some "featured" designs that are currently "on the boards". One of the designs is for a new police station. The average Joe has no clue as to the thought process and safety features that go into a public safety facility such as a police station. With recent headlines of crazy people shooting at police officers at police stations still fresh in our minds (especially here in VA where two City of Fairfax police officers were shot and killed while in the police station parking lot), we as architects and engineers do our best to design buildings to reduce this threat.

One neat feature of this new police station is a unique public entry vestibule made of bullet-resistant glass. Imagine that there was a "domestic dispute" between Peggy Sue and Billy Bob. Peggy Sue might go to the police station to report the incident. If Billy Bob is chasing after her with a gun, Peggy Sue can press a "panic button" located in the vestibule. The doors will automatically shut, an alarm will go off, and the security system will dial 911. This scenario may seem a little far fetched, but unfortately events like this are becoming more common place.

Other building features include no window sills that people may leave an explosive device on. The windows are also installed at a height so that a police officer (while seated) is not visable from the outside. This makes it more difficult for a sniper to try and pick off a police officer.

I really have to tip my hat to architects in general who design buildings that take issues like these into account and yet still make the building asthetically pleasing.


Mohawk Chieftain said...

That's unfortunately, silly wabbit....

gwen said...

Why do they raise the window height if there is bulletproof glass, why not just tint the windows? Just curious.

Boo said...

The bulletproof glass is just for the front lobby.