Guidance for protecting building environments from airborne chemical, biological, or radiological attacks.
Reducing a building's vulnerability to an airborne chemical, biological, or radiological (CBR) attack requires a comprehensive approach. Decisions concerning which protective measures to implement should be based upon the threat profile and a security assessment of the building and its occupants. While physical security is the first layer of defense, other issues must also be addressed. Preventing possible terrorist access to outdoor air intakes and mechanical rooms and developing CBR-contingent emergency response plans should be addressed as soon as possible. Additional measures can provide further protection. A building security assessment should be done to determine the necessity of additional measures. Some items, such as improved maintenance and HVAC system controls, may also provide a payback in operating costs and/or improved building air quality. As new building designs or modifications are considered, designers should consider that practical CBR sensors may soon become available. Building system design features that are capable of incorporating this rapidly evolving technology will most likely offer a greater level of protection. While it is not possible to completely eliminate the risk of a CBR terrorist attack, several measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood and consequences of such an attack. Many of the recommendations presented here are ones that can be implemented reasonably quickly and cost effectively. Many are applicable to both new construction and existing buildings, although some may be more feasible than others. Building owners and managers should assess buildings by looking first for those items that are most vulnerable and can be addressed easily. Additional measures should be implemented as feasible. The goals are to make your building an unattractive target for a CBR attack and to maximize occupant protection in the event that such an attack occurs.