Hardening of Buildings and Structures

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Hardened Structures
Hardened Structures

Hardening of Buildings and Structures

Protecting people and structures is the primary mission of the Hardened Structures Blast & Structural Engineering Team

The Hardened Structures Engineering team provides the following building “hardening” services to meet your damage mitigation expectations:

  • Blast mitigation design and construction for new or existing commercial buildings
  • Analysis of structural building elements
  • Site and building assessments of a commercial building from a wide spectrum of threats including earthquake, natural disasters, CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) threats
  • Security assessment including building “hardening” recommendations

Building “Hardening” Process:

The Hardened Structures team provides a detailed survey to determine and record current structural integrity, barriers, detection systems, operational, logistic, and security requirements, roads, landscaping, and other features.
This initial site survey information must be integrated and coupled with the appropriate building “Hardening” design and planning to provide the necessary client specific level of protection (see chart below) for critical asset protection

Levels of Protection – Commercial Buildings

Level of Protection Potential Structural Damage Potential Injury
Below Standard Severely damaged. Frame collapse/massive destruction. Little left standing Majority of personnel suffer fatalities
Very Low Heavily damaged. Onset of structural collapse: Major deformation of primary and secondary structural members, but progressive collapse unlikely. Collapse of non-structural elements Majority of personnel suffer serious injuries. There are likely to be a limited number (10% to 25% fatalities)
Low Damages – unrepairable. Major deformation of non-structural elements and secondary structural members and minor deformation of primary structural members, but progressive collapse unlikely Majority of personnel suffer injuries. There may be a few (<10%) fatalities
Medium Damaged-repairable. Minor deformations of non structural elements and secondary structural members with no permanent deformation in primary structural members Some minor injuries but fatalities are unlikely
High Superficially damaged. No permanent deformation of primary and secondary structural members and non-structural elements Only superficial injuries are likely
Steel Blast Connections

Explosive blast events require an
understanding of loading and responses that occur in milliseconds.
When considering structural framing systems, it is critical to coordinate ALL of the design assumptions regarding blast weights/loads, blast locations, and façade design requirements.

Blast Curtain Wall Installation

In any conventional designed building, the component most vulnerable to blast loads is the building envelope. Hardened Structures team understands what makes these wall systems so vulnerable and uses many concepts to “HARDEN” the building facade.