CONTROL ROOM DESIGN
A suitable and proportional control room along with its associated areas is essential to the implementation of a robust security strategy. Operators will undertake a mixed range of tasks from VDU/GUI operation to producing reports and documentation. In order to achieve the most success from a security system, the control room must be designed with the operators in mind. Consideration should be given to the following.
- Security Policy
- Security Procedures
- Security Mechanisms
- Task Identification
- Time and Motion Analysis
- Sociotechnical Interfacing
- Proportional Accommodation
- Disaster Recovery
- Compliance with regulation and standards
- DDA Assessment
The control room suite should be located in a position where it cannot be isolated or compromised, as it must be able to continue to operate in the event of a serious disturbance. A Briefing Room may be necessary for management during a serious disturbance. The location of this room needs to have safe access for emergency personnel and services.
Access to a restroom/kitchen should be available. The staff toilets should ideally be separate male and female, but unisex toilets may be considered when space is at a premium. A disabled toilet facility should be available as required by the DDA assessment. A staff shower room should ideally be provided incorporating sufficient dry area for changing and storage of clothes whilst showering.
Adequate space must be provided for the services that are essential for the operation of the control room. Adequate height must be provided to allow for raised floors. Raised floors and ceiling voids must be secured within the envelope of the control suite.
Lighting should be appropriate for all the tasks being performed. However, consideration needs to be given to reflection and glare on monitor screens.
The control room should be designed as a low noise environment with sound absorbing ceiling tiles, etc. The use of cross talk attenuation may need to be considered where ducts pass between separate rooms.
The ergonomics of the room needs careful consideration with respect to the positioning on monitors and display technology in relation to the operators. Headaches can result from and signle or combination of the following.
- Screen Glare
- Poor Image Quality
- Stress and Anxiety
- Long Periods of VDU use
- Poor Posture
The sociotechnical interfacing considerations should take in to account all of the above along with issues relating to watching images that don’t change very often, which can lead to “change blindness”. Black screen technology and PSIM solutions increase operator efficiency.
Control room design has many facets of consideration, from ergonomics to integration. Control room design, whether large or small must form part of the overall security strategy and mechanism.