War on Terror Creates Demand for Super-Secure Offices

Walls lined with steel and 8-inch-thick concrete, data safeguarding and more at office of the future

Darryl Rekemeyer, director of the Fort Detrick Business Development Office in Frederick, said SCIF developers are vying for a share of the $128 million National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center that the Department of Homeland Security will start building at the Army post next year.

"There is a particularly large demand for these types of facilities," Rekemeyer said.

Polysonics Corp., a Remington, Va., acoustics-design company with decades of SCIF experience, enjoyed a 30 percent sales increase last year, senior consultant Josh Thompson said. He said the government's demand for secure acoustical environments has outpaced the company's forecasts because, despite advances in digital security, some secrets must be discussed in person.

"More and more, people like to have the face time," Thompson said.

Another company, Columbia-based Essex Corp., has gone from SCIF user - to safeguard its NSA signal-processing work - to SCIF builder by recently buying The Windermere Group, an Annapolis-based design-and-construction firm, for $69.4 million.

The combined company can deliver "complete solutions, rather than simply supplying pieces" of the security puzzle, Chief Executive Officer Leonard Moodispaw said.


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