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July/August 2008
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Protection of Control Rooms Covered in Proposed New Standard

Control rooms are the heart of operations for many facilities that could be vulnerable to attack, such as power plants (particularly nuclear), water treatment facilities, oil and gas refineries, rapid transit systems, bridges and dams, among other structures. Subcommittee E54.05 on Building and Infrastructure Protection is currently working on a proposed new standard that deals with control rooms, WK18256, Guide for the Physical Protection of Control Rooms for Infrastructure Facilities Against Forced Entry and Ballistics Attack. Subcommittee E54.05 is under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee E54 on Homeland Security Applications.

WK18256 will be a useful tool for the design and renovation of control rooms and enclosures for infrastructure facilities, providing designers with a checklist to ensure that all procedures have been followed regarding adequate security and protection. Architects and owners’ representatives will be the most likely users of the proposed new standard.

According to James Stapleton, president and CEO of Habersham Metal Products Co., and chair of Task Group E54.05.02 on Building Exteriors, WK18256 will cover all aspects of control rooms including walls and ceilings, which are considered part of the security envelope.

“This proposed guide will address all components of the security envelope of a typical control room and how it should be designed and performance tested to provide the appropriate protection against attack, depending upon the control room vulnerability,” says Stapleton. Other aspects of control rooms to be considered include forced entry and ballistic-resistant doors, windows and other opening protectives, such as heating, ventilating and air conditioning louvers, roof hatches, vents and wiring chases.

Stapleton notes that the subcommittee is currently seeking participation in the further development of WK18256, particularly from the design and architectural community and from agency representatives who manage, operate, design and construct control rooms. “We need their input regarding their security concerns, and their knowledge and past experiences regarding various threats and protection methods,” says Stapleton.

“This work is very important because, if control rooms for high value infrastructure facilities are not adequately protected, attackers can enter and either destroy or reprogram the controls in order to cause potentially catastrophic damage and loss of life,” says Stapleton.

CONTACT

Technical Information: James Stapleton, Habersham Metal Products Co., Cornelia, Ga.

Phone: 706-778-2212

ASTM Staff: Timothy Brooke

Phone: 610-832-9729