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Blast Resistant Design Principles

Speaker: Eve Hinman, Hinman Consulting Engineers
Series: CEE Departmental Seminars
Location: Engineering Quad E219
Date/Time: Thursday, February 27, 2014, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.


Eve HinmanBuilding owners in both the public and private sectors increasingly require that new construction incorporate anti-terrorist design measures for a variety of reasons including the desire to:
• attract more tenants or a particular type of tenant
• lower insurance premiums or obtain high-risk insurance
• contain business interruption costs
• lower life cycle costs for operational security measures
Designing security into the exterior envelope requires a complex series of trade-offs. Security concerns need to be balanced with many other design constraints such as accessibility, initial and life-cycle costs, natural hazard mitigation, fire protection, energy efficiency and aesthetics. Because the probability of attack is very small, there is a desire for security not to interfere with daily operations of the facility or its appearance. On the other hand, because the effects of attack can be catastrophic, there is a desire to incorporate measures that will save lives and minimize business interruption in the unlikely event of an attack. The countermeasures should be as unobtrusive as possible to provide an inviting, efficient environment, and not attract undue attention of potential attackers. Security design needs to be part of an overall multi hazard approach to the design, to ensure that it does not worsen
the behavior of the facility in the event of a fire, earthquake or hurricane which are far more prevalent hazards than terrorist attack. This presentation provides an integrated multidisciplinary approach to security design of the exterior envelope addressing a variety of materials including: reinforced concrete, masonry, metal stud, metal plate, precast and glass curtain walls. Concepts are illustrated using project examples.


Eve Hinman is the President and founder of Hinman Consulting Engineers, specializing in design solutions to mitigate explosion effects, with offices in San Francisco and Washington D.C. She is a leader in anti-terrorist design and has been providing specialized consulting services in this area since 1983. She is the principal author of FEMA 427: Primer for the Design of Commercial Buildings to Mitigate Terrorist Attacks, published in 2003 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and is currently working on two additional documents for FEMA: a Blast Design Guide; and a Rapid Visual Screening procedure. Dr. Hinman holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Civil Engineering and a doctorate in Engineering Mechanics from Columbia University.