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  • Posted By Scott
  • |
  • Jul 24, 2017

CPTED in Condominiums

CPTED is an acronym for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. The purpose of implementing CPTED principles into the design of the facility is to reduce the opportunities for crime that are inherent in the design of the condominium or neighbourhood. CPTED has a proven record of being properly researched and utilized successfully on an international basis. It also has a history of increasing responsible and positive use of the property while at the same time decreasing the likelihood of criminal behaviour.

The Goal of Implement CPTED can be defined as follows:

  • Provides the opportunity to reduce crime within the condominium
  • Reduces the owner’s and resident’s fear of crime within their building
  • Encourages social interaction and vigilance
  • Improves quality of life for those residing within the condominium

Currently ASIS International is presenting a four-part webinar series on CPTED and Physical Security procedures. The first of this excellent education series took place in March and was titled "CPTED - Stop Talking about it and Live it" . The title rings very true as we have been a long-standing proponent of condominiums instigating proactive security audits & measures, rather than reacting after an incident. Information on this highly reccomended seminar(s) can be found at the following link:


In the first part of the series, the presenters were discussing when, in the building process, does CPTED principles get implemented into the design of the facility. There are 7 phases of design, ranging from Concept (#1) to Close Out (#7, or in condominium terms: occupancy). During the seminar, the presenters frequently asked the participants to provide information about their projects. One of the questions asked was on the timing of when the the Security Professional is brought into the project to implement the CPTED and other Security recommendations. The vast majority of the attendees report that they were brought in at either the Concept (#1) or Schematic Design (#2) phase of the project.

In our recent article in Canadian Security Magazine: www.canadiansecuritymag.com/news/industry-news/understanding-condo-security, we discussed the challenges of condominium security and made the recommendation that condominium developers would be well served by having a PSP or CPP (or other Security Professional) in the early stages of the process. Such advice would reduce the likelihood of the Physical Protection System being either over, or under-designed. It would also give the first condominium board a security plan to implement future security solutions.

Happily, there are other opportunities to implement CPTED principles into the Condominium’s life cycle. The two that would immediately come to mind would be when updating the Reserve Fund Study (either class) or during a large project.

It is our belief that every condominium should undertake a professional security audit to ensure that they have a proper understanding of where their vulnerabilities are located. In the absence of the security audit, there are other projects that would be an excellent time to incorporate CPTED concepts.

For example, during a landscaping upgrade, proper shrubs and plants may be chosen that will enhance the territorial boundaries. Or at the very least, a condominium can insure that they are following the 7-2 rule (trees to be trimmed up to 7 feet & shrubs to be trimmed down to 2 feet) to ensure that they are not offering areas of concealment.

Or, during a common area upgrade (like a lobby), a security consultant may assist with providing advice on Natural Surveillance to enhance the awareness of the area and increase the risk to would-be intruders.

Obviously, these are simplistic examples that barely scratch the surface of CPTED. The point is that every capital replacement (RE: reserve fund project) is an opportunity to increase the security of the building and better protect the residents within.