FORTRESS Protective Buildings Provides Multi-Hazard Protection

The FORTRESS Solution

Leveraging BakerRisk's decades of R&D, investigation of hundreds of incidents, and 35+ years of assisting clients in personnel protection, BakerRisk developed FORTRESS Protective Buildings, a Multi-Hazard Resistant Building (MRB), to provide the optimal solution to protect workers and critical assets from hazards that may be present at industrial facilities handling flammable, toxic, explosive or energetic materials.

The PCI Design Awards program recognizes design excellence and construction quality in the precast concrete industry.

BakerRisk conducted two series of blast tests for FORTRESS Protective Buildings using the Shock Tube Test Rig at their Wilfred E. Baker Test Facility.  The first series of tests was on the joint between two concrete modules and included the panel joint, corner joint, and reaction frame. The second series was on the FORTRESS blast, fire, and smoke resistant door mounted in a FORTRESS concrete panel.  Both series of tests were conducted using a 10’ x 10’ target area in the shock tube.

The concrete panel was tested five times and remains in our specimen yard today, demonstrating the true resilience of FORTRESS!  Results indicated negligible vulnerability at design basis blast loads.

  • Design Basis Free-field Loads (Test #1): 11.3 psi at 1,006 psi.ms resulted in a max displacement of 0.5-inches (hairline cracks)
  • Design Basis Reflected Loads (Test #5): 20.9 psi at 1,639 psi.ms resulted in a max displacement of <1.25-inches (cracking)

BakerRisk conducted projectile testing of a representative FORTRESS wall panel in the High-Pressure Test Rig at the Wilfred E. Baker Test Facility. These tests, which were conducted using a gas gun developed by BakerRisk for fragment throw, confirmed that FORTRESS’s 8-inch reinforced concrete design provides protection from fragment throw equivalent to ¾” thick steel!

Thermal radiation testing of the concrete panel at the joint seal between modules was conducted using impinged jet fire in the Process Safety Test Rig at BakerRisk’s Wilfred E. Baker Test Facility.

  • ¼-inch saturated propane jet fire for 1-hour for the panel and 30-minutes for the door.
  • Full height panel with thermal barrier in panel joint.
  • Results indicated negligible vulnerability for design basis thermal exposure.
  • Resistant to temperature rise as well as smoke and toxic combustion off-gases.
  • Temperature in the enclosed volume behind the panel remained below 110°F, well below ASTM E119 required 139°F.

BakerRisk has developed FORTRESS to resist gas infiltration in an emergency and it includes an additional inner room that is even more leak tight for use as a Shelter-In-Place (SIP).

FORTRESS has inherent gas ingress protection due to the limited gaps in the design of the building shell as well as the vestibules at building entrances/exits.  Additional safety features for prevention of gas ingress results in an air exchange rate (measured in ACH) between the FORTRESS building and the outside of <0.08ACH, which drops to <0.026ACH for an interior SIP room.

Every worksite must account for staff protection during an emergency or natural disaster. Protecting workers is of chief importance during hazards associated with natural disasters as well as potential knock-on effects associated with blast, fire, or other potential operational impacts during a naturally occurring event.

Planning and safety drills only get you so far. Investing in disaster resilient FORTRESS is one of the best ways to ensure that your employees are protected during unexpected events.

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BakerRisk presentations at the 2023 AIChE Spring Meeting and 19th Global Congress on Process Safety

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is hosting its highly anticipated Spring Meeting and 19th Global Congress on Process Safety in Houston, Texas from March 12-16th, 2023. This conference is a premier event for professionals in the chemical engineering and process safety industries around the world. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in…

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