The past bombing incidents show that even those inside the buildings near the blast site are not safe from the damage that an explosion could do. In fact, many of the fatalities and casualties during these incidences are attributed to structural failure.
This only shows that there is a pressing need for building owners and designers to take into account certain blast resistant requirements when designing or redesigning a building. While there’s no perfect blast resistant design for buildings or any infrastructure for that matter, hiring engineers and architectures with adequate knowledge on infrastructure protection can help reduce the possibility of the building being a hazard when a bombing occurs.
Usually, it depends on the owner if he or she wants to include a blast resistant design in the structural plan. While some building owners believe that evacuation can be used as a primary mitigation strategy, blast resistance is more an appealing option since complete evaluation is impossible to do when incidences like this occur.
Buildings that are designed for critical services are also required to have a blast resistant design. Companies that deal with a high-risk unit need to shut down the entire operation first to ensure that damage is controlled or no further damage is incurred. A specific example of this is the firefighting department. A fire firefighting headquarter should withstand explosions since they have the equipment that will be needed in controlling the blast and in saving lives.
Though used interchangeably, there is a difference between the terms blast resistant and blast proof. Blast resistant is a term used for establishments that would be able to withstand some 3 psi overpressure. This term is therefore applied to lower exposure protected buildings. On the other hand, blast proof is applicable to buildings that could tolerate an overpressure wave from an explosion of 10 psi.
Indeed, in today’s society when bombing can happen in the most unexpected place and time, designing blast proof or blast resistant buildings is very important. Blast designs for buildings don’t only help protect lives due to the added physical security but these also prove more cost-effective in the long run.