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
- Provide screening level building assessment for existing oil-refining and chemical processing facilities and in new facility designs or facility expansion layouts.
- BEAST & SafeSite3G® proprietary tools developed through extensive experience and research
- On-site review of building to appropriately categorize structural response
- Provide assessment in terms of building damage and occupant vulnerability
- Complete an existing building structural assessment to identify design deficiencies to blast hazards.
- Consequence-based and risk-based analyses to meet various client company standards
- Assessments driven by extensive experience in blast hazards and familiarity with associated structural failure modes
- Design practical and efficient structural upgrades to enhance a building or product’s blast resistance.
- Maintain a building’s purpose or function
- Ability to provide various levels of service from concept to final design to implementation in the field, including construction support
- Familiarity with a multitude of existing construction types (wood, masonry, steel, concrete, glass, etc.)
- Design new structures to resist existing hazards.
- Familiarity with blast design standards and typical structural design codes and standards. Provides a flexibility to accommodate various design requirements
- Frequently think “out of the box” for practical solutions in new design to minimize material requirements and maximize safety
- Validate new design approaches through testing
- Familiar with new construction materials which are effective at mitigating blast hazards in a cost-effective manner
- Ability to develop construction-level drawing packages, facilitate blast mitigations techniques and designs through convention drawing sets, and provide construction support in the field or as a remote consultant.
- Review and assess secondary hazards to building occupants to provide protection from various sources.
- Experience in blast door design and performance
- Experience with glass hazard assessment and mitigation techniques
- Experience in quantifying occupant vulnerability to dynamic loading and blast hazards
- Projectile hazard mitigation
- Thermal and Jet-Fire effects
- Air-tightness testing
- Provide secondary reviews of blast-related mitigation strategies and designs
- Support incident investigations with structural-based reasoning and problem solving skills
- Develop new approaches to mitigation of hazards with the ability to provide proof testing
- Work with vendors to develop their product designs through consultation and proof-testing
Tools and Standards
- Use a range of industry accepted tools (in-house and commercially available) to solve even the most off-hand structural design problems.
- Non-destructive testing
- Single and Multi–Degree–of–Freedom Analysis Capabilities (SBEDS, ISADS, WBiggs)
- High Fidelity Finite Element Analysis (LSDYNA, SAP2000)
- Familiarity with typical blast design guidelines and standards as well as typical construction design codes and standards to provide client peace-of-mind in project deliverables.
- Blast Design Reference Manuals/Standards ASCE, UFC, DoD, PIP, API, FEMA, PDC
- Standard Structural Codes IBC, ASCE, AISC, PCI, ACI
- Fluidly communicate highly technical solutions through CADD capabilities.
- 3D AutoCAD
- Construction-Level Drawing Packages and Conceptual-Level Sketches
- Oil Refineries
- Chemical Plants
- Downhole Tool Industry
- Explosives Manufacturers and Storage Facilities
- Government (DHS, DoD, VA, FAA)
- Product Vendors
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.
Upgrades at Industrial Facilities
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
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.
Progression of Upgrades
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:
- UFC 4-010-01 “DoD Minimum Antiterrorism Standards for Buildings”
- UFC 4-023-03 “Design of Buildings to Resist Progressive Collapse”
- “Physical Security Design Manual for VA Facilities”
- ISC Security Design Criteria
Projects performed under UFC Criteria
- Fort Sam Houston Building 1001 US Army South, 2009-2011
- Fort Sam Houston Buildings 2264 and 2266 IMCOM Headquarters, 2009–2011
- Fort Sam Houston Building 2263, 2009–2010
- US Army Battlefield Health and Trauma Center Expansion, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas., 2008
- Fort Sam Houston Long Barracks (600 Series Buildings), San Antonio, Texas, 2009
- Fort Sam Houston Buildings 145, 146, 147 & 149, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 2008
- Fort Sam Houston Theatre, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 2009
- Fort Sam Houston Building 2265, 2008
- Lackland AFB, Barracks Modernization