Introduction to Vault Systems
For many years, vaults were made of concrete that was "poured-in-place" where the vault was needed. The concrete was reinforced with steel ("rebar"). Vaults are now often made of modular panels, which are assembled to form a six-sided structure. The floor may be the concrete slab of the building, or it may consist of modular panels.
Federal Specification AA-V-2737, Modular Vault Systems, covers panels that may be assembled to form a GSA approved modular vault. The vault must use a Class 5 GSA approved vault door meeting requirements of Federal Specification AA-D-600.
Modular vault panels are either "lightweight" (less than 30 pounds per square foot) or "heavyweight" (unlimited weight). Lightweight panels are laminated of various materials which together provide the forced entry resistance time of at least fifteen minutes. Heavyweight panels are typically made of concrete.
An advantage of modular construction is that a modular vault can be reconfigured/disassembled/relocated as needed. An advantage of lightweight panels is that they make it possible to build a modular vault on an elevated story within a leased building. Panels can be brought up to the desired floor in a personnel elevator. If the vault is no longer needed, it can be removed.
Several manufacturers currently make GSA approved modular vault panels.