U.S. Courts Design Guide
recording systems. See the Requirements and Specifications for Special Purpose and
Support Space Manual for additional details on the USMS Command and Control
Security Systems and Equipment
Courthouse security system and equipment design includes both perimeter and interior
security. Perimeter security includes considerations of site, parking, lighting, access
control at building entrances, and intrusion detection/alarm systems. Interior security
includes personnel security, security of property and documents, access control to
interior spaces, personnel movement and circulation controls, security aspects of spatial
arrangements, and the coordination and integration of security and fire safety
All security systems and equipment shall be consistent with GSA's Security Criteria
Manual (Class C buildings) and DOJ's Vulnerability Assessment of Federal Facilities
(Level IV buildings).
Site Selection. While inner-city areas offer convenient access to transportation and
other benefits, locating a courthouse in an inner-city must be weighed against threats to
security from crime and terrorism.
Building Setback. The building setback defined in GSA's security criteria must be
maintained using passive barriers such as bollards, berms, and planters, and/or active
barriers such as hydraulic barriers and gates.
Landscaping. Special attention must be given to the location and configuration of
plants outside the building, particularly at parking and building entrances. Plants must
be small and low so they cannot be used as hiding places or obstruct site lines.
Landscaping can also be used to enhance security by preventing encroachment on the