Buffered by Bollards
Langan Designs Security into Site Plans
When it comes to building perimeter security, bollards, in more ways than one, are the proverbial tip of the iceberg. While what we can see ranges from the innocuous to the ornate, what lies beneath are complex systems that require state-of-the art subsurface engineering.
“Before 9/11, only select structures – federal buildings, energy plants, hospitals –warranted bollards as a tool to mitigate security risks,” said Jon LeBoon, Senior Associate in Langan’s Arlington, Virginia office. “Today, the desire by owners to integrate bollards into their property’s streetscapes can be seen across a much broader spectrum of building types and facilities. This is particularly true for sites located in highly populated urban areas that require advanced security measures, which rely heavily on bollards as an essential line of defense.”
Langan has designed and permitted the installation of bollards for the Federal GSA, and numerous state and local agencies nationwide. Geotechnical engineers support the design of the bollards foundation systems, which are typically large concrete assemblies that extend five to seven feet below-grade. Because of the sheer magnitude of their size, these foundation systems frequently create conflicts with other below-grade features, such as existing utility lines, drainage infrastructure, and other structural elements. Langan’s civil engineers work collectively with Langan’s survey technicians to perform subsurface geophysical surveys to identify potential conflicts in advance and provide design solutions to mitigate these conflicts. Additionally, Langan’s traffic engineers conduct vector analyses, or studies to determine the angle and speed a vehicle can impact a bollard. This information is critical to the overall threat assessment and security rating.
Clients often request flexibility for site access when adding security-rated bollards to their properties. Having the ability to quickly and easily remove bollards temporarily for routine maintenance and repairs, or a special event, greatly enhances the efficiency of facility operations. Hydraulic security rated bollards offer this flexibility, but do require additional engineering and design considerations. Langan’s civil engineers provide utility design services to support the installation of hydraulic bollards and develops maintenance and spill prevention plans for managing hydraulic fluids onsite.