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published on

July 2024

At BakerRisk, we perform a wide range of studies and consultations for clients across different manufacturing and processing sectors. Not only do we perform in-depth assessments, analyses, and recommendations for clients, but we also often take on an “Owner Representative” role.

In this role, we can facilitate and ensure the effective implementation of recommended solutions. Additionally, we leverage our long-standing relationships with trusted partners to accomplish critical tasks in many projects.

One good example is a previous BakerRisk project for an industrial facility, which highlighted our ability to effectively utilize partner relationships and adapt to challenging client requirements. Read on to dive into this project and the solutions BakerRisk pursued for success.

Hazard Identification Leads to Aggressive Timeline for Solutions

Our client, a cogen facility providing steam for their large refinery customer, had several buildings that were potentially threatened by hazards coming from within their own fence line and from outside their fence line. These buildings included a main office building, warehouse areas, a control building, and a contractor building.

BakerRisk’s client originally wanted two things:

  • To identify and assess both on-site and off-site hazards (explosion, toxic, and thermal) that could pose a risk to personnel
  • To determine the best solutions for mitigating those hazards

Two workers in hard hats looking at an industrial facility while shaking hands.

Initial Steps and Scope Decisions

To start the process, BakerRisk performed a facility siting study (FSS) and quantitative risk assessment (QRA). The FSS identified on-site hazards, such as those produced by the client’s facility equipment, while the QRA identified both on-site and off-site hazards originating from the client’s customer (the nearby refinery). BakerRisk took the information from both studies and developed a series of risk reduction options for the client to choose from.

During this feasibility study, the client selected some buildings to be demolished and rebuilt and chose other buildings to be upgraded/hardened to provide the needed protection. In total, the client wanted three new buildings and several building upgrades, including the construction of a “shell” protective building over the site’s existing control building to avoid needing to relocate operators.

At this stage, the client approached BakerRisk to act as the “prime” for full engineering design for all buildings. In this role, BakerRisk would hire and manage the subconsultants for all engineering disciplines needed to design and produce “Issued For Construction” drawings for the requested buildings. To make matters more interesting, the client needed the bulk of the work to be completed in 10 months.

Building installation materials, equipment, and structural framework of a pre-engineered metal building (PEMB) at an industrial facility.

Turning to Rigid to Meet Client Needs

Faced with a very aggressive construction timeline, BakerRisk leveraged our long-standing relationship with Rigid Global Buildings to design, manufacture, and deliver the required metal structures to the client’s site quickly.

We’ve often partnered with Rigid, a highly reputable and successful designer/manufacturer of blast-resistant pre-engineered metal buildings (PEMBs), due to the organization’s agility, flexibility, and adaptability. With Rigid, we can quickly schedule building fabrication/delivery and design new metal buildings to meet high blast loads. In short, bringing them into the project was the perfect way to meet our client’s aggressive timetable.

To accomplish this challenge, BakerRisk worked in tandem with Rigid and the owner’s general contractor to accomplish the steps in parallel:

  • Design and prepare drawings for the building foundations
  • Prepare the building pads and install foundation systems
  • Coordinate with Rigid to design steel superstructures for buildings
  • Deliver the steel superstructures for the buildings to the site

As a result, BakerRisk and Rigid were able to deliver pre-engineered metal buildings to the site, drastically accelerating the construction timeline by working items in parallel.

Structural building frame of a pre-engineered metal building (PEMB) shown surrounding an existing building at an industrial facility.

Adapting to New Risks

The situation became more complicated and challenging when the client’s customer provided updated hazard information about toxic hazards from their operations. The client’s original focus was on mitigating blast loads, but the new potential hazards would require more agility and adaptation from both BakerRisk and Rigid.

BakerRisk led a multidisciplinary team of design professionals to deliver the solution for toxic risk reduction by creating a shelter-in-place (SIP) location at two separate buildings, as well as new mechanical equipment and SIP systems. BakerRisk again leveraged our relationship with Rigid to procure the steel for the blast resistant structures that enclosed the new SIP related mechanical equipment (AHU, DOAS, Scrubber, etc.).

Project Success

In the end, the client received new and improved structures to mitigate explosion and toxic risks to personnel within their aggressive construction timeframe. By acting as the primary of the project and directing subcontracting/consulting teams of architects, engineers, and Rigid, BakerRisk was able to make streamlined decisions on behalf of the clint, as well as reduce design iterations for the three new buildings and additional building upgrades.

Thanks to our relationship with Rigid, the owner was also able to reduce the time between designing pre-engineered metal buildings and installing them on-site. Our work helped the client reduce their construction timeline for three separate buildings by four to six months.

Completed pre-engineered metal building (PEMB) at an industrial facility.


Even after the completion of the project, BakerRisk continued “out-of-the-box” problem solving for this client. For example, SIPs and other safety measures are only effective if people use them correctly. To make sure that their people leveraged the new SIP system to align with design intent, the client approached BakerRisk to create an SIP training video for site personnel. BakerRisk reached out to a partner with videography expertise to make a 30-minute training video to help with on-site personnel training.

Overall, this project demonstrates the value of maintaining effective relationships with team partners like Rigid, as well as the importance of adapting to shifting client needs. To learn more about how BakerRisk can provide the same kind of service for your project, contact us today.

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