SABRE – Your questions answered


Q. What is SABRE?

A. SABRE is a security assessment and certification scheme for buildings and built infrastructure assets. SABRE is the only global security risk management standard for the built environment.

Q. How will SABRE affect our development projects?

A. Your security consultants should already be following security risk management principles and therefore SABRE should not materially change the security design process. However, it will enable clients to target a SABRE rating, and will enable the security design work to be third party validated and certified.

Q. Is additional design work required?

A. Additional work should not be required if a full scope of works has been followed from the outset. SABRE requires the security consultant to establish the project context, determine the level of risk and to develop an appropriate and balanced security strategy, which is then realized through the subsequent technical design and ultimately the site security management and operational plans.

Q. Is SABRE similar in approach to BREEAM?

A. Yes, SABRE has been developed by the team at BRE that introduced BREEAM for sustainability. There is a common approach to setting an appropriate design rating and credits points are scored in a similar way through satisfying a range of criteria.

Q. How many security ratings are there:

A. There are 5 SABRE ratings, from Acceptable, Good, Very Good and Excellent to Outstanding.

Q. Does SABRE incur additional design costs?

A. The main design work for SABRE should not necessarily incur additional costs. If however the original design work was not undertaken by a SABRE professional, then some areas may have been omitted and a gap analysis and consultancy may be required in order to reach the target SABRE rating.

Q. What are the costs for a SABRE assessment?

A. There is a set fee for registration of the project and for the validation of the assessment report, which is paid directly to BRE as part of the scheme (as outlined on the BRE website). Each licensed company will then charge for their assessment services based on the complexity of the project, although as this is an evidence gathering and assessment process, the costs should be fairly standard and similar to BREEAM assessments.

Q. Who can conduct a SABRE assessment?

A. SABRE assessments can only be undertaken by qualified SABRE Licensed Assessors working on behalf of a SABRE Licensed company. All applications are then third party validated by BRE UK.

Q. How do we know if a company has the relevant experience to undertake this SABRE design work and assessments?

A. SABRE licensed companies must have at least one qualified SABRE Assessor to undertake assessment activities. In order to complete SABRE design work, they should also have a range of SABRE Licensed Professionals to cover the necessary security disciplines including threat assessments, risk assessments, security strategy, technical design and security operations. All companies and their current licensed assessors and professionals are listed onĀ

Q. What is the value of a SABRE rating?

A. Firstly SABRE provides you with an independent assessment that security has been appropriately considered as part of the building design process; it confirms that your consultancy fees for security design have been well spent. It also enables you to receive recognition for that good security design work, enables you to benchmark against others in the sector and can enhance the marketability of your built asset. In turn, this can help to attract security minded tenants and clients.

Q. Does SABRE apply to only new build projects?

A. No, SABRE applies equally to both new and existing buildings. For new developments, there is a Design Rating (completed at the end of the planning and design period) and an As Built Rating (completed after construction, commissioning and handover). However, there is also an In Use Rating for buildings once operational.

Q. What if we are not sure that our organisation or project will pass a rating?

A. As part of the process, an optional Pre-Assessment can be conducted. This meeting investigates key areas of the security risk management process and will provide the applicant with a gap analysis against the scheme technical requirements, in order that the applicant can determine whether the facility is ready to undertake the full assessment or whether the applicant wishes to undertake improvements prior to theStage 2 full assessment.

Q. How does SABRE fit in with other security standards schemes such as Secured By Design or Park Mark?

A. SABRE is a holistic security risk management assessment scheme. In determining the security requirement, it may well capture any specific national requirements, such as SBD, and as part of the assessment process, will acknowledge evidence that these requirements have or have not been satisfied.

Q. Is SABRE compatible with the requirements of the Safety and Security Planning Manual (SSPM) in Abu Dhabi?

A. SABRE is fully aligned with the requirements of the SSPM in Abu Dhabi. Both are performance based security risk management processes and both call for security to be effective against the specified threats, proportionate to the risks and appropriate to the project context. The foundations for SABRE and the SSPM are completely aligned and in fact SABRE could be seen as one way of verifying the principles, planning and design tool kits of the SSPM have been appropriately applied within a development project. The SABRE In Use rating is equally applicable to those existing sites identified as Crowded Places.