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Riot Glass® retrofit systems consist of custom-made security glass and framing designs that provide maximum protection against forced entry and ballistic threats.

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Riot Glass® can be used to secure any building. Virtually invisible yet nearly indestructible, it blends seamlessly in almost any existing window, door, or

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Why Commercial Architects Should Design Buildings with Security Glazing in Mind

Written By: Brad CampbellAugust 11, 2023

Over the years, security has become more important than ever when it comes to the design and construction of commercial buildings. 

From burglary and smash-and-grab theft to rioting and looting, active threats, and even terrorist attacks, there are numerous security threats that commercial architects must take into consideration in their designs. 

Fortunately, modern security technology has evolved along with security threats, and there are many materials and components of commercial security systems that architects can implement into their commercial buildings to ensure the safety of occupants and assets. 

One such component that commercial design architects should not overlook is security glazing — specialized glass or glass-like glazing that enhances building security while maintaining aesthetic appeal. 

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why commercial architects should prioritize Riot Glass® security glazing in their designs and how it can revolutionize building safety.

Why Commercial Architects Should Prioritize Riot Glass Security Glazing in Their Designs

Evolving Security Threats

Over the years, the nature of security threats has evolved significantly, ranging from traditional burglary and vandalism to more sophisticated terrorist attacks and active shooter incidents. 

Commercial buildings, with their abundance of high-value goods and merchandise and large numbers of occupants, are prime targets for theft and targeted violence alike.

Even just in the last few years we’ve witnessed new forms of retail burglary emerge, such as “flash robs,” or organized mass smash-and-grab theft incidents.

We’ve unfortunately also seen how active threat scenarios are on the rise across the US, and witnessed how they can indiscriminately occur virtually anywhere, anytime.

Because of these evolved security threats, it’s more important than ever for commercial building design architects to implement effective physical security measures, like forced entry- and bullet-resistant Riot Glass, in their projects.

Increased Building Resilience

Security glazing is designed to withstand various forms of impact, including forced entry attempts, flying storm debris, ballistic attacks, and even bomb blasts. 

By incorporating security glazing in their designs, architects can bolster a building’s overall resilience against both intentional attacks and mother nature-related threats. 

Virtually unbreakable security glazing systems, such as those from Riot Glass, consist of multiple layers of reinforced glass and thermoplastic interlayers, providing added strength and durability to vulnerable windows and doors. 

Physical Protection of Occupants and Assets

One important responsibility of architects is to ensure that their buildings preserve the safety and well-being of their occupants. Security glazing plays a vital role in this regard by creating a secure building envelope and environment. 

In the event of an attack or attempted break-in, Riot Glass acts as a protective barrier, allowing occupants to get to safety while delaying the intruders’ progress, thereby providing crucial time for authorities to respond.

Additionally, security glazing can safeguard valuable assets, sensitive information, and critical infrastructure within the building. By protecting these assets, businesses can continue to operate with minimal disruption, even in challenging circumstances like natural disasters and incidences of civil unrest.

Aesthetic Integration

One common concern architects may have when considering security glazing is its potential impact on their building’s aesthetic appeal. 

However, advancements in technology have made it possible to integrate security glazing seamlessly into the overall design of a building without hurting its curb appeal.

For example, Riot Glass glazing infills and their accompanying security framing and other hardware components are available in a wide range of finishes and appearances, allowing them to complement and even improve the appearance of a building’s windows and doors.

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Compliance with Building Codes and Standards

Many regions, particularly those within hurricane zones, have specific building codes and standards that address physical security requirements for commercial structures. 

By incorporating security glazing from the outset, architects can ensure compliance with these regulations while providing optimal security for the building and its occupants.

Certain Riot Glass glazing shields, for instance, have been tested and certified to Miami-Dade hurricane missile testing standards, and can therefore be used as an alternative to hurricane shutters for buildings that have to meet strict storm damage mitigation building codes.

Enhanced Property Value and NOI/ROI

Buildings equipped with advanced security measures, including security glazing, tend to have a higher market value than those without. 

Additionally, prospective tenants and buyers are increasingly prioritizing safety and security when choosing commercial spaces, which can improve a commercial property’s net operating income (NOI) and return on investment (ROI).


Sustainable Security Solutions

Incorporating security glazing into a building’s design can have additional benefits related to sustainability

For example, Riot Glass security glazing is available as part of insulated glass units (IGUs) that can contribute to reducing a building’s carbon footprint by optimizing temperature control and reducing the building’s reliance on heating and cooling systems.

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Also, since Riot Glass security glazing allows for high transmission of natural light (while blocking out harmful UV rays and reducing glare), building occupants don’t need to rely so much on artificial lighting during daylight hours.

All of this reduced energy usage can lead to big savings on utility bills and, ultimately, improve the NOI of commercial buildings even further.

Future-Proofing Buildings

Architects face the challenge of creating buildings that can withstand the test of time. By integrating robust security glazing, such as Riot Glass, into their designs, they can help future-proof commercial structures against potential security challenges that may arise down the road. 

As threats continue to evolve, buildings designed with security glazing components will outperform those that don’t have such components, providing lasting peace of mind to occupants and stakeholders.


Security glazing is a vital consideration in modern commercial architecture design. With the ever-evolving security landscape and increasing number of threats, especially in high-risk urban areas, architects must prioritize the safety and well-being of building occupants, as well as the protection of valuable assets. 

Riot Glass security glazing offers an effective solution that hardens commercial building security and physically protects occupants and assets against a full range of threats. 

Besides these primary benefits, Riot Glass glazing can also help commercial architects design code-compliant buildings, improve the energy efficiency of facilities, and increase the value and NOI/ROI of commercial properties.

Contact us today for a free consultation about how you can incorporate Riot Glass into your next commercial building project.

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