AR 380-5 Appendix H Classified Document and Materiel Storage

Standards and Information

AR 380-5 Section I
Minimum Class A, B, and C Vault Construction Standards

AR 380-5 H-1. Consolidated masonry vault specifications

These specifications are given in table H-1.
Table H-1.
ClassApproved storage levelThicknesses
Legend: RC = Reinforced concrete; C = Concrete without reinforcement


  1. All concrete used in vault construction will be monolithic cast in place, Class A, conforming to US Army Corps of Engineers Specification C.E. 204 (minimum compressive strength of 3000 psi after 28 days of aging). Reinforcing will be by minimum 5/8-inch diameter steel rein- forcing bars (rebars) laid a maximum of 6 inches on centers, creating a cross-hatched steel curtain, to be sandwiched at half thickness of the concrete, parallel to the longest surface. Rebars will be anchored or imbedded in all contiguous walls/surfaces.
  2. Class B vault walls will be constructed of masonry at least 8 inches thick, such as brick or concrete block employing adequate bond. Hollow masonry, only of the vertical cell (load bearing) type, can also be used, but if used, each cell will have from ceiling to floor 1/2-inch diame- ter or larger rebar inserted, and then be filled with pea gravel and Portland cement grout. Rebars will be anchored in both floor and ceiling to a depth of at least 4 inches. In seismic areas, 6-inch or thicker RC will be required.
  3. Class C vault walls will be constructed of thick-shell concrete block or vertical cell clay tile and be not less than 8 inches thick. In seismic areas, 6-inch or thicker RC will be used.

AR 380-5 H-2. Lightweight alternate Class A vault specifications

Interim lightweight alternate class A and B vault specifications (for use above ground level only). Where building structural design factors preclude the use of a standard class A or B vault design at above ground level locations, a modular vault-ASTM type I, U.L. class-M approved under ANSI/UL Standard 608, dated 27 June 1983 or later, may be used. Until final testing of this product is completed, it will not be used in lieu of the conventional designed vaults, at or below grade. Existing steel lined rooms, built to previously approved specifications, will continue to be approved for use, but further construction of steel liners will be deferred in favor of the above specified ANSI/UL Standard 608 product.

AR 380-5 H-3. Doors for both methods of vault construction

The vault will be equipped with an approved vault door of the type presently listed on the Federal Supply Schedule. The Class 5 vault door will be used with reinforced concrete vaults. Where weight of construction is a factor and a steel-lined vault is used, a Class 6 vault door may be used, if obtainable. Normally, a vault should have only one entrance. When a vault exceeds 1,000 square feet of floor space or has more than eight occupants, it should have a minimum of two exits (one of which will be the entrance) for safety purposes. When more than one entrance is required, each must be equipped with the approved door, but only one door will be used for normal access. The use of a vault door for controlling movement into and out of a facility is not authorized as this continued use will create undue wear on the door and will eventually weaken the locking mechanism and cause malfunctioning. Therefore, a vestibule should be constructed at the entrance with an access door to achieve control when the vault door is open. Where building codes require that the vault entrance meet a specified fire rating, the vestibule and its access door must be of the required fire rating. Where permissible, the vault door optional day gate may be employed as the entrance control in lieu of the above vestibule. There will be no windows in a vault, and all ventilator openings or other access routes into the vault will be properly treated to deny unauthorized access. Sound attenuation will be fully employed and where inadequate, white noise masking will be added to prevent classified discussions from being overheard.

AR 380-5 H-4. Additional security safeguards for vaults

All vaults designated Class A or B will have intrusion and fire protection. In addition, when a vault is unattended, the areas contiguous to such vault will be supervised either by frequent routine guard patrols or electronic means so as to increase the depth of security and to allow early detection of trespass. Detection of trespass outside the vault is preferred to detection of vault penetration, since response to the former should preclude the latter. Detection systems that indicate attempted penetration (such as vibration sensors) are acceptable, provided they allow adequate response time before actual barrier violation.

AR 380-5 H-5. Security assistance

If requested in writing, additional technical advice and guidance relative to vault security problems, may be obtained from the Commander, Intelligence Materiel Activity (IMA), ATTN: AMXIM-PS, Fort Meade, MD 20755.

AR 380-5 Section II
Security Upgrading Via Construction-Buildings, Offices, and Rooms

AR 380-5 H-6. Approved standards for security upgrading

The following guidance is offered as a norm against which- a. To evaluate the adequacy of existing structural security safeguards. b. To provide security guidance for new construction in areas which will contain activities and material of foreign intelligence interest.

AR 380-5 H-7. Hardware

Heavy-duty builder's hardware should be used in construction, and all screws, nuts, bolts, hasps, clamps, bars, 2-inch-square mesh of No. 11 wire, 18-gauge expanded metal screen, hinges, pins, etc., should be securely fastened to preclude surreptitious removal and ensure visual evidence of tampering. Hardware accessible from outside the area should be peened, pinned, brazed, or tack-welded to preclude removal. The term ""2-inch-square mesh of No. 11 wire,'' which meets the requirements of Federal Specification RR-F-191d, 17 June 1965, hereinafter shall be referred to as ""wire mesh.''

AR 380-5 H-8. Interior walls

Construction should be plaster, gypsum wallboard, metal panels, hardboard, wood, plywood, or other opaque materials offering similar resistance to, and evidence of, unauthorized entry into the area. If insert-type panels are used, a method should be devised to prevent the removal of such panels without leaving visual evidence of tampering. Area barriers up to a height of 8 feet should be of opaque or translucent construction where visual access is a factor. If visual access is not a factor, the area barrier walls may be of wire mesh or other nonopaque material offering similar resistance to, and evidence of, unauthorized entry into the area.

AR 380-5 H-9. Windows

Window openings 18 feet or less from an access point (for example, another window outside the area, roof, ledge, door, and so forth) should be fitted with 1/2-inch bars (separated by no more than 6 inches), plus crossbars to prevent spreading, or 18-gauge expanded metal screen, or wire mesh securely fastened on the inside. When visual access is a factor, the windows should be kept closed and locked at all times, and also should be made translucent or opaque by any practical method such as painting or covering the inside of the glass. During nonduty hours the windows should be closed and securely fastened to preclude surreptitious removal of classified material.

AR 380-5 H-10. Doors

Doors should be substantially constructed of wood or metal. When windows, panels, or similar openings are used in the door, they should be secured with 18-gauge expanded metal screen or wire mesh securely fastened on the inside. If visual access is a factor, the windows should be translucent or opaqued. When doors are used in pairs, a mullion insert anchored top and bottom should be installed between the doors.

AR 380-5 H-11. Door louvers or baffle plates

When used, they should be reinforced with 18-gauge expanded metal screen, or wire mesh fastened inside the area.

AR 380-5 H-12. Door locking devices

a. Entrance doors should be secured with either a GSA-approved built-in, three-position, dial-type, changeable combination lock; a GSA-approved combination padlock (per paragraph 5-101) as amended and as specified in paragraph 5-102d; a key-operated padlock or locking device with high security cylinder and hasp (see figure H-1) as described in the same paragraph; or a built-in 1-inch throw, deadbolt lock equipped with the GSA-approved high- security cylinder; or preferably a combination of these. Other doors should be firmly secured from the inside with a panic bolt (actuated by a panic bar), a deadbolt, a rigid wood or metal bar (fitted to preclude ""springing''), extending across the width of the door and held in position by solid clamps, preferably on the door casing, or other means approved by the cognizant OPSEC Support Unit and Fire Marshal. b. The new High-Security Padlock approved July 1982 became available within the supply system late fall 1982. It has the same Federal Stock Number as the Sargent and Greenleaf (S&G) Model 831B Padlock, which is being phased out of service.

AR 380-5 H-13. Ceilings

Ceilings should be constructed of plaster, gypsum wallboard material, panels, hardboard, wood, plywood, ceiling tile, or other material offering similar resistance to and detection of unauthorized entry. Wire mesh, 18-gauge expanded metal screen, or other nonopaque material offering similar resistance to, and evidence of, unauthorized entry into the area may be used if visual access to classified material is not a factor. When wall barriers do not extend to the ceiling, and a false ceiling is used, this false ceiling should be reinforced with wire mesh or 18-gauge expanded metal screen, alarmed and otherwise secured with heavy-duty builder's hardware. (This measure also applies when panels are removable, and entry can be gained into the area without visible detection.) When wire mesh or expanded metal screens are used, they must be secured to adjoining walls in a manner which precludes removal without leaving evidence of tampering. In those instances where barrier walls of an area extend to a solid ceiling, there is no need to reinforce a false ceiling; however, an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) should monitor this otherwise unobserved area.

AR 380-5 H-14. Ceilings (unusual cases)

It is recognized that instances may arise where activities have a valid justification for not erecting a solid suspended ceiling as part of the area, especially in high-ceiling hangars. The activity may contend that the use of a suspended ceiling is impractical because of production methods, such as the use of overhead cranes for moving bulky equipment within the area. Cases also exist where the air conditioning system may be impeded by the construction of a solid suspended ceiling (such as ADP centers). At times, even the height of the classified material may make a suspended ceiling impractical. In such cases, special provisions should be made to ensure that surreptitious entry cannot be achieved by entering the area over the top of the barrier walls (for example, employ approved intrusion detection systems, sensors, and more frequent guard patrols). Areas of this type should be closely scrutinized to ensure that the structural safeguards are adequate to preclude entry via adjacent pipes, catwalks, and ladders, or to preclude observation, if visual access is a factor.

AR 380-5 H-15. Miscellaneous openings

Where ducts, pipes, registers, sewers, and tunnels are of such size and shape as to permit unauthorized entry (in excess of 96 square inches, for example), they will be secured by 18-gauge expanded metal screen, wire mesh, or where more practical steel bars at least 1/2-inch in diameter with a maximum space of 6 inches between the bars. The steel bars will be securely fastened at both ends to preclude removal, and will have 1/4-inch thick by 1-1/2-inch wide steel crossbars at 18-inch intervals to prevent spreading. When wire mesh, expanded metal screen, or steel bars are used, installation should ensure that classified material cannot be removed through the openings with the aid of any type of instrument. Care also will be taken to ensure that a barrier placed across any waterway (sewer or tunnel) will not cause clogging or offer obstruction to the free flow of water or sewage.

AR 380-5 H-16. Approved alarm systems

Information and limitation on use of approved intrusion detection systems, both commercial and DOD J-SIIDS equipment, can be found in DIA Manual 50-3, chapter III, dated 2 May 1980. Model designations of items specifically approved for use in protection of U.S. classified information and material are provided in that chapter, along with other pertinent information. All detailed information relative to an alarmed area and the electronic system protecting its classified defense information or materiel (i.e., electrical diagrams indicating wire runs, sensor and control placements, as well as sensor types and area of coverage, floor plans, and photographs revealing the position or existence of such items within the area), will be tightly controlled and marked For Official Use Only.