The Emergency Management Network


The Science of "Blast Resistant"

Blast Resistant Buildings are here to protect life and to some extent goods (information). Regardless of whether we want to protect against bullets, hurricanes and/or terrorist attacks we constantly look for ways to make our infrastructure safer and stronger. Some have argued that the blast resistant windows at the Pentagon strengthened the walls and prevented further structural collapse in the areas close to the crash site. While this issue is worthwhile discussing, let us take a look the other side of the coin.
We are hereby referring to those firefighters arriving at the Pentagon and unable to gain quick access to the inside using the windows adjacent to the crash site due to their lack of protocols pertaining to how their engines should be equipped when responding to retrofitted and/or new government buildings emergencies. Government buildings and industries using blast resistant windows and doors rarely let their fire department/marshals know what exact level of protection they have implemented (for obvious security reasons) with the fear that this information could be easily be leaked.

Research has been conducted to try to establish viable protocols that could easily be implemented by all fire departments. Having the right tool for the right situation makes the difference between penetrating and eggressing safely and in a timely fashion to and from the site. 
These findings will soon be posted on this page. Thank you for your patience!

In the meantime, you might be interested in learning some more about the science of building, maintaining and retrofitting blast resistant buildings.

AISC Research on Structural Steel to Resist Blast & Progressive Collapse

Assessing and Minimizing Threats to Buildings

Blast Basics

Center for Chemical Process Safety Combined Glossary of Terms, Spring '05

Considerations for Retrofit of Existing Steel Buildings for Resisting Blast & Progressive Collapse

Conventionally Designed Buildings: Blast & Progressive Collapse Resistance

Design of Steel Structures for Blast Related Progressive Collapse Resistance

Facts for Steel Buildings_ Blast & Progressive Collapse, 2004

Graham Architectural Products - Blast Hazard Mitigation Presentation

Homeland Security Tools for Small Business 2004

Learning from Structures Subjected to Loads Extremely Beyond Design

Mitigation Case Studies - Hardened First Responder Facility - FEMA September 2003

Non-Linear Structural Integrity Analysis

Performanced Based Engineering of Buildings for Extreme Events

Progressive Collapse Basics

Safer Embassies in Unsafe Places: Hearing before Committee on Foreign Relations 108th Congress

Simple Nonlinear Static Analysis Procedure for Progressive Collapse Evaluation

Online Valuable Information on "Blast Resistant Glass"

While looking for that information online, we found that the most interesting and/or relevant information could be found on the sites of those manufacturing this type of glass. The Emergency Management Network does not endorse any of these companies and/or their products. We make no representation as to the integrity or quality of these products or the validity of the statements made by these manufacturers/retailers. This list should serve as a basic reference on the matter.

DuPont Laminated Glass News

DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions

Graham Architectural Products -  Blast Mitigation Products (check out the powerpoint and the video. They are somewhat informational)

Viracon provides a great list of products with a variety of different types of glass. Worth checking out!

The USACE Protective Design Center BMAG COTS DATABASE will lead you to the
Blast Mitigation Action Group (BMAG) page (a Department of Defense Computer System). Login takes nothing more than clicking "Login". No info required. 

Glass Security USA provides some information on its products and offers a video on their Bullet proof glass. (Low quality, somewhat informative).

Pacific Bullet Proof Co
. offers products such as  Bullet Resistant Glass - Bullet Resistant Fiberglass - Bullet Resistant Polycarbonate & Clad Polycarbonate Glass.

The Emergency Management Network * USA