Structural Analysis & Retrofits

Blast Resistant Design and Retrofits

Blast resistant design and analysis are the backbone of the structures group. All project work for blast design incorporates some aspect of dynamic response which can potentially extend to higher fidelity analysis, testing, or innovative problem solving to meet a wide variety of client needs and potential hazards. We utilize 20+ years of blast design, development research, and incident investigation experience to develop cost-effective blast-hardened solutions which demonstrate both occupant safety and material efficiency.

BakerRisk has extensive experience in the design of blast resistant structural upgrades to existing buildings for both industrial and government clients. By coupling ongoing research with dynamic design methods and practical engineering experience, BakerRisk is able to develop innovative designs to efficiently meet our clients, blast resistant needs.

Our structural team has a focused service approach to provide clients the appropriate level of consultation to meet their design needs. We have a basic list of services which are typical approaches to mitigating blast hazards but we can also tailor our services to the client’s needs to meet the demands of any hazardous environment.

Typical Project Scopes

Tools and Standards


The BakerRisk structural engineering team is skilled at solving approaching problems from a full-service design perspective and has demonstrated flexibility in working with design engineers, architects, contractors and end-users to solve design problem. We strive to build relationships with our clients through timely, concise, goal-oriented deliverables which are simply communicated and effectively applied. While our work may consistently focus on establishing the effects of a particular blast event, our project variety is definitely not typical as we understand each project has distinct needs that must be satisfied for a complete work-product. We continue to welcome unique design challenges.

Weatherford Testing Enclosure Door Inelastic Test


Upgrades at Industrial Facilities

Construction of blast resistant structural upgrade for light-wood trailer

Following design guidance provided by industry accepted documents, such as the ASCE text “Design of Blast-Resistant Buildings in Petrochemical Facilities”, BakerRisk has designed structural upgrades to resist blast loads originating from predicted vapor cloud explosions (VCEs), bursting pressure vessels (BPV’s) and other potential explosion sources at industrial facilities.

BakerRisk has designed blast resistant upgrades to process critical buildings (i.e. control rooms and operator rooms) that limit the interference with plant operations while meeting the project specified blast resistance.

Finite Element Model Support for Structural Upgrade

Plastic strain in open-web steel joist under blast loading

Plastic strain in upgraded open-web steel joist under blast loading

BakerRisk engineers can work with a facility to develop conceptual level structural upgrade designs and create the needed support information (CAD drawings, 3D renderings) to lead into final upgrade design.

Curtain wall at a refinery control room with glass and aluminum infill

Blast resistant upgrade

Upgrade of a pre-engineered steel moment frame

Window upgrade

Progression of Upgrades

Removal of existing metal siding and placement of additional structural members to meet the design blast load

Upgrades at Government Installations

BakerRisk is familiar with US government anti-terrorism and force protection guidelines and has designed structural retrofits to meet these guidelines for military installations, Veteran Administration hospitals, and other Federal buildings.

Applicable standards and references:

Anti-Terrorism and Progressive Collapse upgrades at the IMCOM Headquarters
Fort Sam Houston, Texas

Blast resistant window and sub frame to meet prescribed anti-terrorism threat

FRP upgrade of floor slab to meet prescribed progressive collapse standards

Projects performed under UFC Criteria

FRP upgrade of an unreinforced CMU wall tested at the BakerRisk shock tube