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Recent Articles

Best practices for designing a SCIF

In The Military Engineer, Linn Bjornrud, AIA, and Joshua Hoyord, PE, share strategies for designing and accrediting a secure government facility.

The following is excerpted from the May-June 2020 issue of The Military Engineer.

by Linn Bjornrud, AIA, LEED AP, and Joshua Hoyord, PE, M.SAME

Data represents a significant new frontline for military agencies. Warfighters rely on the ability to connect and share information while protecting sensitive material. Recent shifts in our defense strategy toward Great Power Competition, particularly in the cyber realm, has fueled a surge in constructing Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facilities (SCIFs).

Designed specifically for the handling of sensitive information, SCIFs can be set up temporarily for emergencies, but many are permanent buildings that undergo a lengthy approval. One of the most poorly understood aspects of the alterations and new construction process is accreditation. Without a highly organized and proactive approach, projects can be delayed, incur cost overruns, or fail to receive accreditation altogether.


As with any design and construction project, the framework established at the onset is the most reliable indicator of its ultimate success. The clear definition of roles, identification of potential threats, and employment of necessary countermeasures must be established. This may sound straightforward, but it is where many secure facility projects slide off their rails…

Download the full article above, or find it in the May-June 2020 issue in The Military Engineer.