The new United States Embassy in London has received a great deal of attention for its cost as well as for its well-conceived security features. With a concrete core, a moat, bullet-proof glass, bollards, a mesh-enforced Faraday cage to prevent digital eavesdropping and even a full-service hospital, the structure is environmentally friendly and capable of withstanding digital and physical threats.

Homeowners don’t require this amount of costly security precautions, but those interested in creating a safe residence may wish to consider several architectural designs that will enhance residential security. Such residential security measures as they relate to building design are being incorporated into architecture school programs from around the world, a testament to their growing demand.

Faraday Cages

A Faraday cage is a mesh covering that is installed within walls. The mesh disrupts electronic signals, protecting sensitive information that is shared within the cage. Electronic eavesdropping is a great concern within an embassy, but residential homes could find this technology excessive and even inconvenient. The mesh would interrupt home wi-fi signals and other day-to-day electronic communications.

But a residence still requires some form of digital home security, and homeowners will want to know a company like Nortek Security & Control, who continues to manufacture devices effective in the event of an emergency. A residential solution to electronic eavesdropping is to create a digital mesh. By integrating security, artificial intelligence and the devices used in the home into a fundamentally secure connected network, this virtual “mesh” can protect conversations, communications, and data.

Some tech companies have already begun creating IoT devices for the home that are capable of self-disabling should they fail to meet stringent security checks or if they have not been updated with the latest security measures. This kind of digital security is also dependent on architecture. Homeowners with smart homes, or connected homes, are wise to construct their networks on a single, secure platform for end-to-end protection.


Bollards, approximately three-foot tall pillar-like structures, are being installed in numerous locations, from the Las Vegas strip to the edges of plazas and gathering spaces in smaller communities. Bollards are used to prevent vehicles from crashing into buildings, sidewalks or pedestrian crowds. The U.S. Embassy in London is surrounded by bollards.

Similar to surveillance cameras, one reason why bollards are not usually located in residential settings is due to their utilitarian appearance. Embassy architects overcame this obstacle by choosing to place security bollards behind or within evergreen shrubs surrounding the building. The foliage acts as a tasteful, year-round camouflage. For residences near highways, busy streets, intersections or sharp turn-offs, this security measure can be practical as well as elegant.

Air Space

Residential airspace might not warrant the same scrutiny as the space above embassies, police stations, stadiums and other venues, but drones can invade personal spaces. Residential protection measures against drones or other aerial interlocutors include technologies that are also in use by various governments and government agencies. One technology is capable of noticing a drone’s signal as it nears a private space. This signals an alert within the home, allowing residents a chance to close their blinds, turn off their wi-fi and otherwise prevent drone operators from taking pictures, stealing data or causing disruptions. This same technology can determine the location of the drone’s operator so that homeowners can contact authorities.

The laws surrounding drone use are still in flux, but some devices like drone blockers, are considered illegal in many areas. Homeowners are wise to shut down their wifi when a drone hovers too close

Developing digitally and physically secure home space requires a knowledge of tech device vulnerabilities as well as home vulnerabilities. Once your home’s unique vulnerabilities are understood, you can begin to mitigate potential threats if not prevent them outright.