- Pledges new technology in public facilities
- Commends private developers for voluntary adoption of new flexible standard
- Commits to work with Virginia to adopt standards of International Building Code already in place in D.C., Maryland
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Arlington County Board today unanimously adopted a resolution to advance new public safety technology in construction within Arlington County. In recent years, new construction materials have degraded the ability of public safety personnel to communicate with radios within buildings. In addition, new video and digital data transmissions are not handled as well by prior technology solutions.
“The world we live in is complex and changing, but one of the hallmarks of Arlington as a place to live, work, and play is that we live in a safe and secure community,” said J. Walter Tejada, chairman of the Arlington County Board. “We must continue to press our colleagues around the Commonwealth to adopt these needed, modern technologies.”
Arlington County is installing a new system (in-building wireless technology) in new and renovated County construction, including the recently-completed Arlington Mill Community Center. Arlington staff has worked with many developers to draft a performance-based standard for all new construction.
Not included in Commonwealth Building Code
Virginia has chosen not to adopt standards within the Code that would enable emergency responders to communicate within buildings.
The problem of spotty communications affects many jurisdictions, including those with and without tall buildings. Even two-story commercial buildings (with and without parking garages) are affected by this problem. While the resolution is not binding, Arlington County officials hope that developers and builders will understand the benefits of in-building wireless to improving safety in their buildings and will install the new technology.
Working toward changes
Arlington County officials are working closely with colleagues across the Commonwealth, in the building community, and within public safety to improve the requirements in the building code. They have also worked closely with partners in the development community, including Monday Properties, JBG, Penzance, and BF Saul, all of whom have agreed to use the new standard in the construction of buildings recently approved by the Board.
The in-building wireless initiative is supported by numerous Arlington County departments, including Fire, Police, Sheriff, Emergency Management, Technology Services, Community Planning, Housing and Development.