With 85 percent of the nation’s office buildings in private hands and a spaghetti snarl of local and state building codes, no federal mandate can make all of America’s buildings disaster-proof. But architects and engineers are creating a new generation of “smart” offices that not only keep intruders out but protect occupants from chemical and biological attacks.
Sensors wirelessly connect to control boxes that isolate affected areas and begin pumping clean air into the building.
Alerts trigger an automated evacuation plan that directs occupants to uncontami-
nated areas along lit corridors.
Sensors posted on rooftops or in air vents detect toxic substances such as anthrax.
Iris-scan systems and spycams protect the lobby from intruders.
Digital escape planner