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Rafael Callejas-Tovar
Joshua Bruce-Black

published on

May 2019

There are a variety of building design approaches that can be considered and employed to mitigate risks to building occupants. Although the preferred and safest approach is to design buildings for worst-case explosion, fire, and toxic events after completion of a consequence study, this can often be infeasible or cost-prohibitive. An alternative building design approach considers the frequency of each scenario and can be achieved through the use of frequency-consequence exceedance curves to determine a design accidental load (DAL) or by use of risk calculations from a Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA). Using example case studies, the benefits and shortcomings of developing a building design basis employing frequency-consequence exceedance curves versus using a risk-based approach will be examined. Although a risk-based approach may require more complex modelling, additional effort and time compared to determining a DAL, it is important to consider each load (blast, fire, toxic) and the duration of each load to assess the vulnerability to occupants and fully quantify the effectiveness of a building design.

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