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When designing or constructing a building, it helps to plan for a video surveillance system from the beginning.

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Video Surveillance for Architects & Engineers

When designing and constructing a building, there are many things to consider—the size and shape, number of rooms, entrances and exits, and more. One more thing to consider from the start of the design process is the building’s video surveillance system. By including a surveillance system from the first stages of the design process you can ensure cameras will be installed near power sources and with clear views of the locations they monitor.

Benefits of Video Surveillance for Architects & Engineers

Ideal Camera Placement – Because the building is designed knowing a security camera will be installed, you can include cameras in the best place to record instead of whichever location is most convenient but possibly less ideal after it’s built.

Power Sources – While many IP cameras today use PoE to power their cameras, some cameras do require more power and need to be plugged into an outlet. If you know the cameras need power, you can work with the electrician from the beginning to place them near camera locations.

Discreet Surveillance – If you don’t want to draw attention to the surveillance cameras, many options are available for discreet security. Cameras can be disguised as smoke detectors, or small enough to blend into pinholes in the wall, trim, or doorway. Knowing you’ll use these types of cameras first allows the wiring to be easily run to the proper location.

Risks of Surveillance for Architects & Engineers

Lack of Flexibility – When you design and construct a building with a specific video surveillance system in mind, there’s the possibility that any future changes to the system will become more difficult. Make sure to include additional power outlets and camera locations so the system can change and grow over time.

Privacy – There are certain spaces within a building where people have an expectation of privacy, including bathrooms and employee break rooms. Cameras should only be installed in public areas like hallways and meeting rooms.

Things to Consider When Designing a Building with Video Surveillance

Designing a building with security in mind gives you a lot of flexibility. Here are some things to consider:

  • Are there locations more prone to theft, such as cash registers in a retail store or store rooms where expensive equipment is kept?
  • Will you need to identify people in the videos, and should install cameras at face-height instead of getting an overview of the entire room?
  • Will you be securing both the inside and outside of the building, and should include indoor and outdoor cameras?
  • Will you be recording at night, and should plan for light sources so the cameras can see?

Setup Advice for Video Surveillance Systems

  • Place cameras near building entrances and exits to monitor people who enter the building
  • Use PTZ cameras in large open spaces to more effectively monitor activities
  • Outdoor cameras can be installed on the outside of buildings to monitor parking lots, courtyards, or walkways
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