Protection against break-ins, bullets and explosions

Building for maximum security

With specially manufactured windows, doors and gates, façades and entrance areas, in combination with webcams and burglar alarm systems, it is possible to cater for buildings with even the strictest security requirements.

When it comes to the structural security of a building, there are barely any standard solutions. In most cases, custom security planning is required which takes into account the intended use, location and architecture of the building, as well as the people or assets to be protected, along with an other specific security objectives. Work-ing with specialist service providers, planners and other companies that specialise in security – ideally very early on in the planning process – is the best way to ensure the best possible implementation and combination of security components.

One such company is Thiem Security Solutions, based in Schkeuditz, Germany. Having started out as a metal construction company for windows, doors and façades, over the last 30 years, the business has become specialised in providing security measures for buildings and other properties. Company founder and Managing Director explains the company’s recipe for success: "Unlike systems providers, who tend to work in line with particular standards that only allow for very specific formats, profiles and glass, we encourage architects to give free rein to their design ideas. We see ourselves as a service provider for architects, and do everything in our power to find viable construction options that fit with their design ideas."
We see ourselves as a service provider for architects, and do everything in our power to find viable construction options that fit
with their design ideas.
With a portfolio that includes embassies, government buildings, courts, police offices, prisons, airports and museums, as well as research institutions, data processing centres, banks, fashion boutiques, luxury homes and private art collections, Thiem’s engineers have developed, built and – most importantly – received structural approval for security components for almost every type of building there is. For obvious reasons, the owners of such properties aren’t keen to publicly disclose their specific security concepts, which is why the basic options are described below using a fictitious building as an example. Let’s say that the building to be reconstructed is located in the centre of a major European city and, in addition to the parliament, will also house a valuable art collection that is open to the public. The project also includes renovation of an existing, list-ed façade, and all the windows and doors in this façade are subject to a preservation order for the protection of historic monuments.

Existing window façade, parliament building

The new bullet-proof and burglar-resistant windows of security class FB4 to FB7 (A), in combination with RC3 to RC5, are designed with bars to match the original pe-riod windows. However, they have to accommodate glass that is 85 millimetres thick, and remove panels weighing up to 360 kilos. The doors and windows are glazed with white glass to ensure that they match the windows that are not subject to increased security requirements. Of course, the windows also meet the structural requirements for heat and sound insulation. The structural implementation by Thiem Security Solutions includes the production of doors and windows using a thermally separated steel profile system such as Janisol or Janisol HI (adapt to create a bespoke profile, but with the standard face widths) as well as cladding on both sides using pro-filed wood. The window fittings have lock monitoring and are connected to the burglar alarm system.

Entrance area, existing façade

In-keeping with the architecture, the entrance is fitted with a 3.20 metre-high door system with a round arch, based on the original period design (B). The door is manufactured in line with RC4, and includes an automatic door drive and motor lock. The door itself has a slim steel and glass design with an integrated sliding recess and intercom system. A second door positioned directly after the first means that visitors are deliberately isolated in this area, and can only gain access to the secured area after they have registered and signed in. The second door, which also meets the standards of resistance class RC4, is an automatic sliding door constructed from the Jansen Economy 60 steel profile system – upgraded as a custom profile, but with the same face width. It features large glass panels, held in place by comparatively narrow steel profiles, giving it a timeless elegance that means it blends in discreetly with the original architecture. Both doors are operated and controlled by the security staff at the gate, who are also responsible for registering and monitoring visitors.

Façade for the newly built art exhibition

The art museum in the new building will have a large steel glass façade made from the Jansen VISS (C) steel profile system and, due to the high number of visitors expected, an automatic sliding door system. Because the exhibition is set to contain some very valuable objects,
the façade and integrated sliding door system will meet the standards of resistance class RC5. The steel glass doors for the stair-wells and fire compartments are designed as T30/T90 fire-proof doors and fall into resistance classes RC3 and RC4. The various different rooms of the art exhibition, on the other hand, feature fully sheeted tubular frame doors of resistance class RC4, with an electronic monitoring system. Here, too, a custom profile based on the Economy 60 steel profile system from Jansen is the first choice for Thiem Security Solutions, because the face width can be kept unchanged. The doors are clad on both sides with architectural bronze on both sides, reflecting the high value of the collection.

Art exhibition delivery area

Because – due to its inner city location – the delivery area for lorries is very narrow, the client decided on a folding sliding gate system with an integrated door for staff on foot (D). This gate system was manufactured using Jansen’s folding door profiles in resistance class RC4. In-keeping with the architecture, which features a cladded façade large Trespa panels, the folding sliding gate is planked with Trespa panels in line with the façade grid.

Implementing bespoke security solutions

Thiem Security Solutions develops and manufactures these sorts of bespoke, custom-made designs exclusively in-house, and all the necessary test certificates and certifications are provided in advance. "We mostly use system profiles and upgrade them to meet the specific requirements of the property in question," says Thiem.

The advantage of this approach for Thiem’s security specialists is that they can rely upon the existing systems having already been tested for things like water tightness, thermal protection and burglar protection – which saves time and money. "In some cases, we can also use the hinges, fittings and sealing systems from the original profiles, while other times have to redesign and adapt them to meet the requirements." The reason that Thiem Security Solutions has been collaborating with Jansen AG for so long is down to the wide variety of profiles offered, the quality of the components and that signature Swiss precision. By using state-of-the-art manufacturing technology, Jansen is able to ensure the production of profiles with extremely small edge radii, even with narrow face widths. This means that constructions designed for high-security areas can be made to look just as slim and elegant as the rest of the architecture, so they don’t stick out like a sore thumb. (AMR)