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published on

June 2020

“Why did BakerRisk decide to design and build hazard-resistant buildings?”

This is a common question we receive from industry professionals. Bill Mather, President of FORTRESS Protective Buildings, LLC (FORTRESS) and Vice-President of BakerRisk, has provided some insightful details as to what motivated BakerRisk to develop this new market offering, as well as speaks to FORTRESS’ direction for the future. Click below to view this interview in the June/July 2020 issue of BIC Magazine!


Regarding this interview, Karen Vilas, a Principal Process Safety Engineer at BakerRisk and FORTRESS team member, expresses: “The BIC interview captures how passionate Bill is about this product, which he truly believes is the best building available to industry for saving lives.”

Karen explains that FORTRESS is an extension of the BakerRisk mission: Manage hazards and risks through high value services, products, and research. “With the majority of his career focused on protecting people from operational hazards, Bill became frustrated with there not being an industry solution for a building that truly protects people.” Karen laughs, “Then one Monday morning, Bill came in to work with a scale wooden model he’d made with John Dyer (a Senior Principal Structural Engineer at BakerRisk) over the weekend, excitedly saying they had the solution.”

Two years later with the full support of the BakerRisk team, FORTRESS was released to the market with a modular, turnkey building solution that has been proven through a full-scale testing program to provide a high degree of protection for fragment, blast, thermal, gas ingress (flammable and toxic), and extreme weather hazard protection.  According to Karen, “Not only is FORTRESS a product that is representative of BakerRisk’s client focused culture, but through Bill’s leadership and BakerRisk’s innovation, has become a product able to provide high protection in the form of small (<200 ft2) to very large (>20,000 ft2) floorplans that can serve as everything from a guard shack to a control room.”


Karen adds, “When you see the protection that FORTRESS provides, proven by full-scale testing, and consider the value of the turnkey construction and layout flexibility, FORTRESS is the sensible choice to make. The question then becomes – which building would you rather be in?”

Enjoy the video below to learn more about this solution.