2014 Security Trends

End users continue to migrate away from legacy security systems towards technologies that enable them to be more proactive in mitigating their risks. As our IFMA Boston community witnessed first hand, last year’s investigation into the bombing at the Boston Marathon showed the potential waiting to be unlocked in using big data analytics to comb through troves of video evidence. The ability to remotely access and control security systems from mobile devices also continues to rise in prominence. Security Info Watch determined the following top 10 trends in the security industry:

Click HERE for full descriptions of each trend:


1. Security goes all IP, beyond just video

2. Technology makes IP in small systems a reality

3. New life for old infrastructure with bridge technologies

4. Moore’s Law lives on as vision gets even better.

5. Spotlight on cybersecurity as IT involvement continues to grow

6. Hybrid Solutions


7. Increase in demand for more secure, open and adaptable solutions

8. Mobile access control will continue to roll out in stages

9. Continued migration of intelligence to the door

10. Visitor management systems to move beyond traditional applications


RDK’s Lean Journey

For the past few years, RDK Engineers has taken many steps to start incorporating Lean and its
practices into our company.
At its core, Lean is a philosophy that seeks to increase client value and eliminate unnecessary
waste. By applying systems thinking, Lean organizations see the whole value stream of their
operations and find ways to use less material, effort, energy, and equipment to deliver
increased value to clients while providing meaningful work for staff. Lean has successfully been
applied by the manufacturing world to a variety of organizational challenges and is increasingly
being used in healthcare operations.
RDK’s Lean journey started with a half-day workshop in our Andover office in 2011 where we
tackled our internal RFI (Request for Information) process. In the class, we laid out every single
step of the process and identified very quickly all the waste in this process. RDK was able to
walk away with a Value Stream Map, which outlined our wastes and potential improvements
that could be made to our process.
A year later, ten RDK employees completed an 8 week course on Lean geared towards the
Healthcare industry. Many of RDK’s healthcare clients apply Lean to their projects, so improving
our understanding and application of Lean allowed us to align ourselves with their approach.
Since then, RDK has created a Lean Steering Committee that meets every other month to
discuss lean strategies and how to implement a continuous improvement culture. A subset of
our Lean Steering Committee has been meeting with each RDK departments to identify
improvements within their teams using one of the Lean tools called CEDAC (Cause and Effect
Diagram Adding Cards). The topic of the CEDAC’s are “what impedes us from doing our job to
the best of our ability?” and we run a workshop on that which ends with prioritizing
recommended solutions. It is a brainstorming session where dozens of ideas are offered and
then posted. We then chart the cost versus overall impact of each recommended improvement
and also vote on them to determine the most significant. RDK’s internal groups have also
decided to take the feedback from their CEDAC’s and spend at least one hour each month at a
staff meeting discussing Lean and potential recommended improvements. We are thrilled with
the progress we’ve been able to make.
RDK will continue on its Lean journey by holding internal workshops, applying improvements to
processes, minimizing waste and adapting these principles company-wide. While doing this, we
will start to apply Lean tools to our project work and continue to consider the tremendous
value that it can offer our clients.


RDK Principal Joe Bonanno identifies waste in the RDK RFI process.

RDK Principal Joe Bonanno identifies waste in the RDK RFI process.

An RDK group using the 'CEDAC' tool to brainstorm how we can all work more efficiently.

An RDK group using the ‘CEDAC’ tool to brainstorm how we can all work more efficiently.


What Tenants Want in a Building

By Marc Margulies, AIA, LEED AP, principal at Margulies Perruzzi Architects

How do tenants decide which building to take space in? What are the factors that inform the leasing decision? Clearly, cost comes strongly into play, but the financials are often very competitive. The decision may thus be swayed by the physical attributes of one location versus another. How can older or “dated” looking buildings be repositioned for maximum appeal? What are savvy landlords doing to their buildings to attract and retain good-credit tenants? A few factors to consider:


Why does Boston’s Innovation District have such great appeal to growing companies? The reason, in part, is because immediately outside the front door there are a dozen funky restaurants, health clubs, Hubway bike racks, and waterfront music and bars. Given a choice, tenants invariably prefer having convenient access to these kinds of amenities, even if it’s in a suburban setting. Companies want a dynamic, energetic environment – one that has both life-style convenience for staff and the facilities to keep employees from losing work-time by leaving the building.

 Ideally, all the conveniences of an active urban environment would be nearby. Food is the most desirable amenity, and a dominant trend is to provide healthy menu alternatives with adjacent outside dining. The most powerful statement about repositioning a building is the creation of an active dining/meeting/community gathering space adjacent to or as part of the main lobby that helps to bring life and energy to the common areas, one that can be used for casual meetings even beyond food-service hours. The lobby and gathering space should be wireless-enabled with comfortable and flexible furniture. When visitors come to the building, it should feel active, productive, and energetic.

 Other attractive services include dry cleaning drop off/pick up and shared conference facilities with robust audiovisual capabilities. A “micro-mart” can offer 24/7 access to a wide variety of fresh products and typical sundries in a secure self-service environment. Some kind of fitness facility is indispensable; in larger buildings, the fitness facility usually has substantial offerings, but at a minimum provides showers, locker rooms, and some aerobic workout machines.


Historic buildings have a unique appeal that new buildings cannot duplicate; new buildings have the long-span, light-filled, flexible footprints and modern common-area finishes that are so attractive. Many buildings built from 1960 to 1990 are caught in-between, and if they remain un-renovated, often feel trapped in time. To remain competitive, dated finishes must be judiciously replaced, and the overall aesthetic environment made to feel fresh.

 Some tell-tale signs that new finishes are needed include natural oak (anywhere), drywall stair railing/half-wall, bordered carpet in the corridors, terra cotta floor tile, heavily fissured ceiling tile, two-toned wood paneling, artwork of miscellaneous sizes and frames, walls with multi-colored, heavily patterned marble, or large round recessed lights. Bathroom finishes should not have 4×4 floor tile on the walls and floor, rust on the toilet partitions, or plastic laminate sink counters with exposed plumbing or 2×2 fluorescent lights.

 Instead, the lobby, corridors, bathrooms and elevators should be light, bright, and clean with contemporary colors and furniture. The “wayfinding” (signage) should be visible and designed around a theme consistent with the building marketing. If there is a security desk, it should feel more like a concierge than a guard post.

 Finally, many of the buildings constructed in the 1970’s during the energy crisis had narrow windows with high sills and bronze tinted glass. The color of the light, particularly in the lobbies, is significantly degraded, making the interiors feel darker and less cheerful. This limited window line is an inherent disadvantage relative to newer buildings, but the color of the glass exacerbates the problem. Replacement of some or all of the windows with clear, low-E glass makes an enormous difference.


With minimal effort, a building can achieve USGBC LEED EB (Existing Building) status, and the plaque in the main lobby is a powerful statement about the building management’s commitment to providing a healthy work environment. While smaller tenants may not pursue LEED certification, tenants often prefer LEED-certified buildings, and a high percentage of large corporations insist on it.

 Few building owners are enthusiastic about the LEED process and cost. Tenants often view it as a statement about the quality of property management. There is a rigor that comes from LEED certification that assures tenants that their office is well maintained, healthy, safe, and environmentally friendly.

 High-quality tenants in the marketplace want to feel comfortable that the building they are moving to is going to be an asset to their successful, profitable, and productive company, and that prospective employees will see it as an attractive place to work. Amenities, aesthetics, and sustainability are three key elements to successfully appealing to them.


About the author

Marc Margulies, AIA, LEED AP, is a principal at Margulies Perruzzi Architects. Consistently ranked as one of Boston’s top architectural and interior design firms, Margulies Perruzzi Architects services the corporate, professional services, research and development, real estate, and healthcare communities. For more information, please visit www.mp-architects.com.

Schmooze Cruise Pictures

Thanks for sailing with IFMA Boston on our annual “Schmooze Cruise”. Big thanks to the New England Real Estate Journal’s, Julie Santos, for posting pictures. Check them out HERE