- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 16 Jan 2018
To help improve this article, click 'Edit this article' above.
Access control is the selective restriction of access to a particular place, building, room, resource or installation. To gain access to a restricted location an individual generally needs to have authorisation or to be given permission to enter by someone that already has authorisation.
Perimeter security can be used to prevent intruders from penetrating a defined boundary between land, buildings or parts of buildings and gaining access to protected people, property or assets. Perimeter security may be created by psychological, physical or electronic barriers which:
Perimeter security is commonly required to protect operations such as:
- Transportation (airports, stations, ports, bridges).
- Utilities (dams, power plants, pipelines, energy distribution networks).
- Industry (chemical, oil and gas operations).
- Commerce (offices, banks, warehouses, entertainment facilities).
- Defence (military bases, weapons storage, command centres).
- Government (embassies, courts, departments).
- Correctional facilities (prisons and other institutions).
- VIP areas (secured estates, royal palaces).
There are a great number of methods that can be used to provide perimeter security.
- Fences, railings and walls.
- Perimeter structures.
- Street furniture such as cycle racks, seating, planters, and so on.
- Gates, turnstiles, boom barriers, bollards and height restrictors.
- Electric fences which deliver a non-lethal electric shock. Attempts to short circuit, reduce the voltage or breach the fence can trigger an intruder alarm. Some fences have the ability to pinpoint perimeter disturbances making it quicker for building occupants to be alerted to where a potential intrusion is taking place.
- Buried cable detection systems which provide covert perimeter security, detecting the precise location of intruders.
- Closed-loop systems in which vibration sensor cables are installed at high and low levels on a perimeter fence.
- CCTV used to oversee the perimeter.
- Microwave, infrared or radar sensors which can detect walking, running or crawling targets. When an intruder enters the detection zone, changes to the field are registered and an alarm is triggered.
- Rising kerbs and road blockers.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Access control.
- Access to construction sites.
- Approved document Q.
- Building wraps.
- Commercial security systems.
- Construction phase plan.
- Fire and rescue service.
- Fire dampers.
- Fire detection and alarm systems.
- Health and safety.
- Hostile architecture.
- Intruder alarm.
- Joint fire code.
- Outbuildings security.
- Safety signs.
- Security and the built environment.
- Security glazing.
- Smart surveillance, video surveillance and VSaaS.
- Smoke detector.
- Types of alarm.
- Types of lock.
 External references
Featured articles and news
The phrase ‘time at large’ describes the situation where there is no date for completion, or it has become invalid.
The Maldives is under threat from climate change. Read this report from BRE on their potential involvement in the region.
MHCLG update states there are still 124 private high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding and no remediation plan.
Starting a new built environment degree? We have a wide range of resources aimed at students.
Former railway chief James Blake says trust and control are key to successful infrastructure projects.
Do you know your Rococo from your De Stijl, your Gothic from your Post-modernist?
May outlines a new funding strategy for housing associations and says the 'stigma' of social housing needs to end.
RIBA launches a consultation on a new Plan of Work for Fire Safety.
This article offers some basic rules to follow when writing your next specification.
The iconic Mackintosh Building will definitely be rebuilt, board chairwoman confirms.
The machinery used to fashion stone has changed dramatically - and so have the products.