New Construction; Physical Access Architectural Symbols Standardized by SIA

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New Construction; Physical Access Architectural Symbols Standardized by SIA



So, you’re building a new headquarters and want to have the latest and greatest when it comes to physical access control and security. Before the first beam is put in place, architects will be using Computer Aided Drafting to design the buildings and layout each floor.


In addition to the use of these plans be architects and building contractors, security system integrators and electrical contractors also rely on them to make sure that wiring, access control readers, cameras and other security technology are in the correct place.


To ensure that everyone in this chain is on the same page, the Security Industry Association has created a standard – AG-01 – which includes a collection of standardized architectural icons to indicate where security components should be placed on blueprints and plans. Late in 2015, the standard was updated to include modern components such as IP-based readers, biometric controllers and more.


Over the years there have been a number of security symbol lists developed by different organizations. These symbols were originally developed before Computer Aided Drafting came to the fore. Sometimes manual drafting symbols can be cryptic, recognizable only by those who use them on a regular basis.

This has led many security organizations to develop their own “home grown” variety of symbols. As many as four different sets of symbols can be seen on a single project: the security manager’s set for concepts, the security consultant/engineer’s for construction documents, the security contractor’s for shop drawings and the electrical contractors for installation drawings.


This standard is intended to serve as a model for elaboration and incorporation into computer products used either for security systems design and layout. AG-01 was based on the ASTM F967 Standard Practice for Security Engineer Symbols and updated to include symbols required for security system design and implementation.


The symbol design criteria include:

  • Easily recognizable icons representing the form or function of the device
  • Simplification to minimize memory usage and plotting time and permission for symbols to be hand drawn
  • A reduced number of symbols that use generic icons and single-character attributes for the mount style and for the technology or type of device.


The previous revision of AG-01 was released in 2001. AG-01 V.3.0 addresses some of the industry’s latest technologies, including IP cameras, advanced intrusion sensors, Power over Ethernet and biometric devices, among others.


The AG-01 Standard is available for purchase online in the SIA Store.


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