There are various types of materials and methods that can be used to construct a SCIF or SAPF. Each type has unique advantages and trade-offs that may or may not suit a specific project. Based on your specific project needs and priorities, one of the types may be a better fit than the other options. The following information is an overview of the different types of SCIFs and their advantages.

Constructed or “Ground-Up” SCIF

This type of SCIF or SAPF is built using traditional construction methods and materials. Construction should conform to local building code jurisdictions and, aside from the specialized requirements related to security, will perform similar to that of typical construction. Some of the advantages include:

  • Easy “buy-in” from corporate-level management.
  • Lower cost than some other types of SCIF.
  • Future renovation materials are readily available and can be easily incorporated.
  • Seamless integration to renovate or build out existing construction.
  • Able to match existing design standards in surrounding areas of a building.
  • In many cases, can be completed in a faster timeline than other types of SCIF.


Modular Built SCIF

A portion, or all of this type of SCIF or SAPF, is built off site at a factory; the installation is completed at the final destination site. Within the “Modular SCIF” category, there are several systems available to utilize for a project such as a panelized system, which uses prefabricated panels that are assembled on site; standard modular construction, which uses sections of the building built onto axels and transported to the site for final installation; or modular containers which are built out of conex-type containers and shipped to the site.

Each system offers the basic advantages of using modular construction with additional advantages and trade-offs to using one of the specific subcategories.


  • Can be purchased as “equipment,” as opposed to standard construction to utilize different funding.
  • Allows large portions of construction to be accomplished even if the site is not ready to be accessed.
  • Quality control variables can be limited during factory construction.
  • Can typically be disassembled and re-installed at different locations.


Mobile SCIF


Designed to be readily or semi-mobile, these SCIFs are typically built as a complete self-contained trailer, or built into shipping containers that can be loaded onto a truck and moved. These types of SCIFs are typically for specialty applications, such as overseas locations and mobile command HQ applications. In instances where a quick “stand-up” or temporary facility is needed, a mobile SCIF can offer substantial logistical value.

  • Offers logistical value and efficiency
  • Can be relocated
  • Can be purchased as equipment to utilize alternative funding
  • Improved quality control at the factory
  • Minimal site work needed to install

The Right Solution?

Each of these types of SCIFs and SAPFs have advantages and disadvantages. If you were to talk to a contractor that specializes in any one of these types of construction, they would most likely have an expert sales pitch as to why their specialty is the right application for your project. Adamo has designed and built all of these types of facilities for more than 35 years. With experience in each type of SCIF, Adamo has the insight and experience to offer the key information needed to weigh each type of SCIF and its benefits. Adamo offers a free site survey to evaluate your project site and assist you in making these vital decisions. If you would like to know more, please contact Adamo to discuss the options and gain the information you need to decide which solution best meets your specific project needs.