Patrice D. Bucciarelli (Apr/May 07)
This tech-based pursuit of security is not
without its wider-ranging ramifications. As companies pile on systems,
they increase their facilities' needs for high-quality, reliable
electric and other utility services. The increase in technology hasn't
much changed the way electricity and providers pursue their own methods
to meet the demand, according to Ed Legge, spokesperson for the Edison
Institute, which represents electric utility providers nationwide, but
it probably has increased utility customer cost.
industry, we always have to work to find ways to meet demand," says
Legge. "The rise in technology has increased demand, that's for sure,
but technology is also becoming more and more efficient. And the
increased cost of operating technology, such as security and other
systems that are always on, is part of the cost of doing business."
so, the increased demand for utilities - electric or otherwise -
challenges site selectors to find locales where those services are
redundant, reliable and of high quality. "We look at utilities very
robustly, whether it's water or gas or electricity, and take them right
along their lines from the site to their origination points," says Jim
Kupferer, managing director of Fluor Global Location Services Group.
Still, there's more to site selection
post-9/11 than a reliable grid. According to Kupferer, security
technology is the domain of corporate IT gurus. But security measures
that reside outside the facility's walls are site selectors' business.
And, for the most part, those external measures are likely to be more
low tech than high.
"In the past, we would normally look for
sites that were fully cleared of trees and open to development," says
Kupferer. "Now we're looking for wooded sites - with brush, even
wetlands and more acreage - anything to create a buffer for added
security around the facility."
Those site requirements have
traditionally been applied when siting particular operations such as
power plants, sensitive manufacturing facilities, and data-controlling
operations such as call centers. Now, though, security-conscious site
seekers of every stripe are embracing the notion that security beyond
the walls is necessary to complement measures that lie within. And
they're looking even further down the road for security support.
you look at overall security you look beyond the immediate area, to
where the nearest Army base is located, then at the community's
emergency preparedness plan, then at the state's preparedness plan,"
says Kupferer. "Security goes beyond what's inside the facility."