Blast Resistant Design

Full Session with Abstracts

338132-4 - A unique design approach for retrofitting an existing facade system for blast loads

Saturday, April 21
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: 202CD

Designing structures to withstand blast loads can be complex and very costly. The complexity and cost can often be amplified when retrofitting existing buildings. As such, designing blast-resistant buildings often requires a series of compromises and innovative/creative design solutions to balance budget constraints, construction schedules, and architectural aesthetics while meeting the project specific blast criteria. This paper will describe a variety of unique design solutions used to retrofit an existing façade system and will demonstrate how the design solutions minimized impact on the project cost, schedule, and aesthetic design.

The facade retrofits were designed to meet the blast criteria outlined in the Interagency Security Committee’s Risk Management Process for Federal Facilities (ISC Criteria). For ‘high’ and ‘very high’ levels of protection, the ISC Criteria specifies explicit performance criteria for the glazed facade (i.e., glazing, mullions, and mullion connections back to the structure). Existing buildings not originally designed for blast loads often do not meet the specified performance requirements, resulting in extensive and costly retrofits to the exiting façade system. Traditional retrofit systems such as security blinds, window catch systems, and interior storm windows are effective in meeting the blast performance criteria, but often negatively impact the functionality and aesthetics of the interior space. The design solutions presented in this paper upgrade the existing façade members using a combination of conventional materials (e.g., steel) and unconventional materials (e.g., fiber reinforced polymers, epoxy, etc.) to minimize their impact on the surrounding space.

The paper will be of interest to all structural engineers, architects, and building owners designing buildings to meet the blast requirements outlined in the ISC Criteria and other similar Government standards. Efficient design approaches will be outlined that demonstrate practical solutions using unconventional materials. The paper will focus on how the design solutions complemented the existing building design, simplified construction leading to a shortened construction schedule, and minimized the effect on the architectural design. Lastly, the paper will present a novel way to utilize fiber reinforced polymers that could be used in both blast and non-blast applications.

Brian Petruzzi

Senior Project Engineer
Thornton Tomasetti

Brian Petruzzi, PE, is a Senior Project Engineer with Thornton Tomasetti's Weidlinger Protective Design Practice. He specializes in blast analysis and design of structures. This includes conducting vulnerability studies and implementing protective design standards to establish solutions that protect new and existing facilities from explosive threats. He has contributed to the design of over 30 blast-protected structures including military installments, government headquarters, laboratories, explosive test-ranges, and museums. Mr. Petruzzi's analysis and design experience includes calculating blast loads, developing dynamic, non-linear analytical models for a variety of structural and facade elements, implementing progressive collapse standards, and designing anti-ram elements.


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338132-4 - A unique design approach for retrofitting an existing facade system for blast loads

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