United Technologies Corporation, Hartford
Modern commercial infrastructure, particularly “iconic” structures, have become the target of an increasingly complex threat landscape, including both traditional threats such as fires and earthquakes, as well as threats motivated by terrorist goals and objectives. Traditional threats have become more challenging due to the nature and scale of the modern building, increased occupant density and density of the surrounding neighborhoods. These changes result in longer egress times when using traditional methodologies, as well as more challenging response scenario for first responders. In addition, due to their iconic nature, tall buildings are subject to an increasing number and severity of both physical and cyber terrorist attacks. These attacks can range from active shooters to chemical and biological releases, or combined, complex attacks involving multiple modalities. Unfortunately, due to the nature of these attacks, the traditional prescriptive evacuation response is no longer optimal and can even result in an increase in casualties and disruption.
Luckily, as the threat landscape has evolved, so too have modern commercial buildings. Increasingly, buildings are leveraging connectivity sensing and advanced decision making to make occupants’ daily experiences more efficient and effective. This infrastructure, typically implemented for normal operational efficiency, can be augmented at acceptable additional cost to provide significant risk reduction, situational awareness for occupants, building owners, operators and first responders in the event of an emergency. This presentation outlines the current state of research and demonstration in this area.