Sensitive Compartmented Informational Facilities (SCIFs) have one purpose: to safeguard classified government data that is being stored, processed, or discussed within their four walls.

That being said, SCIFs, themselves, come in at least three different flavors.

Of course, there’s the most meticulous, yet most versatile option: building from the ground up. By doing so, government agencies and their security vendors can exert the most control over their infrastructure.

Portable, or modular units, on the other hand, offer the same state-of-the-art impenetrability as a traditional SCIF, but can be swiftly set up and disassembled whenever required.

Government agencies with real estate to spare, however, may choose to convert an existing room into a SCIF.

Here are just three reasons to consider your own SCIF retrofit:

  1. Versatility: It may sound off the wall – and in some ways, it is – but in reality, almost any enclosed space can be seamlessly retrofitted to fulfill your SCIF needs, from an office garage to an aircraft hangar (or even a 737, itself!) With the right team of security specialists who know their way around the ICD 705, the sky is almost literally the limit.
  2. Speed: When time is of the essence, converting an existing room into a SCIF or going the modular route may be your best options, by far. While modular units offer customization and portability, renovating an existing space offers its own unique benefits, not the least of which is the time saved from foregoing foundation and utility work associated with new construction. And renovation jobs can be even further expedited when using your new environment to its fullest advantage. For example, concrete pan decks on upper floors could be seamlessly integrated into your SCIF, serving as a ceiling, and ultimately reducing your time to market.
  3. Cost: By and large, renovating an existing space – assuming no extenuating circumstances like asbestos cleanup exist – is the most economical choice when building a SCIF. Multiple SCIFs, each with their purpose, can also be installed in one large building, spreading the cost of investment out for a contractor. And because the host facility housing your new SCIF is already equipped with utilities like power and air, the long-term operational costs for the new addition are reduced significantly.

Converting an existing room into a SCIF can be the ideal solution for agency needs. It is important to note, however, that every project is unique and will require unique considerations. While cost savings, at a glance, could be significant, mileage will vary. Some spaces will lend themselves to adaptation, such as facilities with steel flooring that can be integrated into the SCIF’s overall infrastructure. Others will require additional modifications that impact the final price tag. Likewise, changing the shape of the room in question, due to ductwork and other potential sources of vulnerability, will ultimately add to cost, not to mention the timeline.

As always, transparency and open communication with a quality security vendor remain paramount to ensure success. Secom has been helping government agencies protect classified assets for more than 50 years with impenetrable, custom-tailored SCIF design and installation, while providing UL 2050 and DoD monitoring services to existing facilities, typically with no upfront costs. Are you ready to convert an existing space into a SCIF? Reach out to our team today to find out how we can help.