Making Embassies Safe for Democracy

by Howard Smallowitz, Assoc. Ed.; Civil Engineering—ASCE, 345 East 47th St., New York, NY 10017,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1987, Vol. 57, Issue 5, Pg. 42-45


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: American interests overseas have become among the most popular targets for terrorist attacks. Once, not long ago, security was only an afterthought for such facilities. Today, $4.4 billion is being spent to upgrade security at America's overseas embassies. Approximately $2.7 billion of this will go towards renovation and new construction. Most new embassies are now designed with rings of security, each getting progressively tighter as one gets closer to a building. Existing embassies can be hardened, and interiors can be rearranged to put people and equipment out of harm's way. America's embassies, however, are symbols of freedom and openness overseas. Engineers face the problem of designing facilities that are open and inviting, yet are not open invitations to trouble.

Subject Headings: Government buildings | International factors | Security

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