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Specifically Speaking with Frank Scala, Arup

Specifically Speaking with Frank Scala, Arup

Frank Scala

YARMOUTH, Maine—Security Systems News’ monthly column Specifically Speaking features Frank Scala, who is Senior Technology Consultant in the Digital Services group with Arup, an engineering consulting firm dedicated to sustainable development.

“My expertise spans all phases of advanced smart building technologies including physical security,” Scala told SSN. “This includes identifying potential treats and risks and optimizing operational workflows using advanced building technology systems to create a safe building environment.”

SSN: What kinds of systems do you design/specify and what services does the company provide?

SCALA: I specify all system related to CSI Divisions 27 and 28. This includes security management systems, access control, video surveillance, weapons detection, X-rays, drone detection, biometrics credentials, intrusion detection, gunshot detection, video analytics, turnstiles, parking gates/controls, intercom systems, digital signage, command, and control.

Arup provides a full range of technology advisory services. Arup’s Security & Risk specialist team is setup to address a client’s safety, security, and business risks through the delivery of holistic solutions. With specialist that deliver security intelligence, security masterplan, design of technological and physical solutions, blast and protective design strategies, business continuity and operational resilience, we are able to assist our client in reducing their risks in an equitable and sustainable manner.

SSN: What vertical markets does the company specialize in? Any interesting projects that you can mention?

SCALA: Arup’s Security and Risk team is comprised of subject matter experts (SMEs), global thought leaders and practitioners, working across a range of sectors, such as aviation, rail, healthcare, science and industry, commercial real estate, education and cultural properties. Iconic projects where Arup was responsible for the development and delivery of security strategies include the 9/11 Memorial, Museum and Pavilion, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Lahore Safe Cities, and the Salesforce Transit.

SSN: How did you get started in security and designing/specifying?

SCALA: I started in the security industry over 15 years ago working for a number of systems integrators providing design/build services. Back them things were much more hands on, and I was fortunate to take a number of projects from design to conception. This includes all aspects from estimating/design, project management, client relations, to field work. This experience afforded to me today to provide the means of truly understanding of cost effectiveness and buildable documents.

From there I worked exclusively as a security consultant and provided security design services in commercial real estate, high education, hospitality, life science, and healthcare sectors. In addition, I also provided advisory services for a number of athletic facilities, museums, military facilities, and concert halls. It has become my true passion to provide my clients with the education and means to ensure a safe and secure environment for all. 

SSN: Can you talk about what new or emerging technologies you are seeing or specifying today?

SCALA: There are currently several new and exciting technologies within the physical security spaces that are starting to converge with smart building. This includes advanced credential technology such as facial authentication and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) soft credentials.

Smart lock technology has become more refined with better integration and improved aesthetics. Visitor and vendor management software has increased the ease of use for end users, while also provide operational efficiencies for property managers. Paired with tenant engagement, this provides building operators additional insights to building users’ concerns and needs.  

Also, video analytics has become much more utilized not only for security purposes but also for smart buildings. The use of foot fall analytics and room utilizing through video analytics have become much more prevalent in recent years. It has also provided the necessary data needed to increase sustainability within the Day 2 build environment.

License plate recognition technology has several applications including access control, visitor management notification, parking space utilization to name a few. Lastly, the use of AI for forensic purposes and cloud technology is also starting to become more every day for both security and IT professionals alike.

SSN: What is your view on the industry moving forward?

SCALA: It is an extremely exciting time to be in the security industry and be part of the convergence that is happening with smart buildings. Physical security will be tasked in the future for not only providing a safe and secure environment but also improved operational effectiveness.



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