Gale’s Steven Marshall authored an article titled: “Window Design for Blast Hazard Mitigation” for the Society of American Military Engineers’ publication (The Military Engineer). The article details how to reduce damage caused by explosive blasts.
As a result of increasing terrorist threat and activity in the past several decades, there has been a growing demand for explosive blast resistance to be incorporated into the design of building structures and envelope components. Explosive blasts create additional overpressure loadings that are typically not accounted for in conventionally designed buildings. Structural design for blast resistance focuses on minimizing potential for progressive collapse through structural redundancy. The performance of building envelopes and cladding components during an explosive blast is more geared towards mitigating the hazards caused by the blast, as it has been found that many of the injuries and fatalities have been a direct result of flying glass and wall debris and not the explosion itself.
The article will focuses specifically on blast hazard mitigation design for windows and fenestrations. It presents a brief background and review of relevant theories, as well as the risk assessment process for evaluating demand and identifying vulnerabilities. As blast resistance is typically only a “requirement” in federal facilities, the article also review applicable Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) standards and design processes.