Booths can pull double duty, protecting those people inside while displaying a corporate or retail business image to the public.

There was a time when a security executive would buy a prefabricated guard enclosure, install it at the entrance to a parking lot or facility and that was that. No more.

Enterprises today seek solutions that more closely match their business goals and corporate culture; better protect from terrorist-era bullets; accommodate information technology connections in this new world of visitor management and convergence; and can even multi-task.

Bullet-resistance was once a specification for off-shore embassies.

No more. Such concerns are now closer to home.

Border stations, federal and state buildings, military bases and corporate areas where there can be a “very unwanted guest” are all eligible candidates for a high security booth. Bullet Resistant Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 buildings are for applications ranging from Southern California’s Ontario Airport to the Pentagon, according to David Dickinson of Delta Scientific, Valencia, Calif.

Looks count

Sometimes, though, booths must protect against more common elements than bullets while fitting into a design scheme. With a surge to hosting 3 million cars per year, the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport required 18 new parking/cashier booths to handle its doubled parking capacity. To architecturally complement the new parking structure, the booths feature rounded corners and custom paint design. To guard against the Minnesota winters, each booth features two heaters and double insulation. Glass is tinted to eliminate sun glare.

Then there’s the need to multi-task.

Adding to the visual appeal of Universal City Walk in Universal City, Calif., a fully custom kiosk from Delta is for ticket sales. Designed and installed by Universal Creative, service provider for Universal Studios entertainment venues around the world, the kiosk has a wheelchair-accessible counter and small overhangs to protect guests from rain. It provides a comfortable and secure environment for employees while serving as a visually exciting and eye-catching facility for the millions of people who visit each year.

The charm of most prefabricated enclosures is their cost-effective, meet-most-every-need building specs.

For instance, B.I.G. Enterprises, Inc., (South El Monte, Calif.) enclosures boast a roof of galvanized steel, structurally supported according to size and load requirements with overhangs and/or fascias of all sizes available. The advantages include heat reflection as well as a design to handle all weather conditions.

Bullet resistance is more often specified in guard booths and enclosures.

Solid construction

When it comes to doors, B.I.G. units are all steel structural tube frame with galvanized steel panels with safety glazing. Sliding doors are top suspended on steel no-maintenance ball-bearing rollers in steel track, with high security pocket jamb.

At Speed Space, Goshen, Ind., there are two ways to go – wood and steel to meet two ways to blend into next-door facilities or a corporate culture. On the wood side, standard Speed Space buildings are constructed with #2 grade lumber, spruce, pine or fir. The lumber dimensions used are determined by the size of the building and its intended use. On the steel side, welded steel studs and steel sheathing and deckings can replace all wood materials. The size and gauges of steel are determined by the buildings intended use.

There also is a booming business in customization. Par-Kut International of Harrison Township, Mich., advises enterprises on their special needs. Every custom building has a unique project specific detail drawing prepared for its customers to review and approve. In other situations and as time allows, proposal drawings and sketches are prepared.

Visitor Badging, Visitor Management

Security Magazinestudies show that end-users now bring more sophisticated computer and communications gear into detached officer enclosures and booths. This often includes visitor management systems that are free-standing, networked or even wireless. The aim: to better track and manage visitor registration in an easy, fast and effective way.

That security goal is one shared by the enterprise, looking for ways to enhance its image by printing high-quality, professional looking badges. Visitor management systems also allow security to quickly look up information about visits and visitors and generate detailed predefined or customized analysis and reports. Some systems can automatically send a message notifying staff members of the arrival of a visitor upon completion of the data entry.