Blast Resistant Design

Full Session with Abstracts

338132-7 - Blast Resistant Cable Supported Facade

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

Cable supported glass facades are becoming a common feature in buildings with high-end architecture. In certain high performance buildings, these facades may also require blast resistance. Cable supported facades can achieve long spans with minimal structural depths and efficient use of materials compared to traditional mullion systems. Most available window and curtain wall blast testing data however is based on edge-supported glazing in rigid frames. Cable facades can differ from traditional blast resistant facades in a variety of ways including glass support conditions, structural materials, load paths and energy dissipating characteristics.

This paper will discuss recent experience with design, detailing and construction of blast resistant cable supported facades with a focus on applicability to design professionals, including building owners, architects, contractors, facade consultants and structural engineers. Particular emphasis will be placed on glass make-up and attachment options for point supported systems and the effect of cable forces on supporting structure, which are both critical in early design stages. Designers will learn how cable wall systems can be optimized through the use of nonlinear behavior and energy absorbing anchors and when a rigorous test program is required to validate project specific solutions. Challenges related to the delegated design process for blast resistant cable walls, and blast resistant systems in general, and the associated advantages of a design assist process will also be discussed.

After reading the paper and viewing the presentation, the audience will have a greater understanding of the advantages and challenges involved with the use of this facade system in blast resistant applications. Readers will understand the limits of existing analysis tools and when analysis must be supported by a testing program.

Douglas Heinze

Associate Principal
Thornton Tomasetti

Douglas Heinze, PE, LEED AP is associate principal with Thornton Tomasetti in the Weidlinger Protective Design Practice. He leads the protective design group in the firm's Philadelphia, PA office.

Doug has over 15 years of experience as a structural engineer, with a focus and expertise in blast resistant, anti-terrorism, protective design. He has designed facilities domestic and worldwide to enforce anti-ram perimeters, mitigate façade debris hazard, prevent progressive collapse, protect emergency evacuation systems and maintain business continuity post-blast. Doug has extensive experience performing vulnerability / feasibility assessments and blast analysis of government, military and private buildings including United States embassies, courthouses, office buildings, laboratories and transportation hubs.

Through his expertise and substantial experience, Doug is able to advise Clients on reasonable and appropriate solutions to reduce or mitigate the risk of explosive threats. Some of Doug's signature projects include U.S. Embassies in Russia and China, the new NATO Headquarters facility in Belgium, the World Trade Center in downtown New York, the U.S. Department of Transportation Headquarters in Washington, DC and the renovation and rebuild of the Pentagon following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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338132-7 - Blast Resistant Cable Supported Facade



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