Protecting communities and structures against the unthinkable is important to us all. While attacks don’t happen every day, it’s important to ensure that people can live and work in safety and our buildings and infrastructures are able to withstand a bomb blast scenario. Our blast engineering experts can help clients to ensure that their structures, from high-rise buildings to bridges, shopping centre to airports, are designed to withstand a potential threat.
The demand for iconic structures and enjoyable spaces is a priority for many investors and governments, but these spaces must be protected against possible threats, such as terrorist attack.
The work of our global teams gives clients the confidence that people will be kept safe on projects across the globe. The service is fully integrated in the design process for a cost effective solution for clients – an appointment made for WSP’s structural-engineering will inherently include some of the services offered by our blast engineering team. WSP engineer Terri Turner explains; “Working closely with the Structural Engineering team means that we can provide realistic and buildable solutions, offering the client an effective answer to what can be a daunting challenge. The industry is ever-changing as new weapons and tactics are developed, and inherently it is essential for us to keep up to date and adapt our protection measures accordingly, so they offer protection in the future as well as the present.”
As well as helping keep people and structures safe, this integrated approach means we can also meet our clients’ wider aspirations. Simone Volpe, who runs our blast engineering team in the UK explains; “We have the unique capability to provide a design that satisfies our clients’ aspirations in terms of aesthetics, architectural impact and efficiency. All these requirements can all be addressed in this unique environment – alongside the reassurance that people are protected from foreseeable threats.”
We can assess the impact of an explosion on an existing or new structure and recommend measures to protect it. We recognise that any intrusive security measure has a direct impact on the local community, and for this reason we collaborate with architects and local consultants to integrate any mitigation measure in the design.
For example, we are experts in providing protection in complex, crowded cities, where the trend for exposed columns in modern urban architecture can make structures vulnerable. The same dedication is applied to every project ranging from small scale studies to whole frame modelling, with a responsive and proactive approach. At WSP, blast engineering means providing solutions to our clients – we use state of the art software to simulate the explosion in order to calculate the level of impact a bomb would have on a structure and to assess if the structure is capable of withstanding it. If not, we propose a range of suitable mitigation measures.
At WSP, we provide specialist structural analysis services for all aspects of structural-engineering. The team has a diverse background and can advise on many areas of advanced engineering should a complex engineering problem arise. We are also members of the Register of Security Engineers and Specialists (RSES ).
The blast engineering team is fully integrated with WSP’s design teams who together provide:
• Economic solutions for our clients
• Early input in the project design, working closely with clients from the outset
• Bespoke solutions that are tailored to our clients’ needs. We have capability of using first principles where we deal with problems outside standard building code, from simplified assessments to global finite element dynamic non-linear analysis
Our capabilities include:
• Blast resistant design
• Blast assessment and consequence analysis
• Structural and glazing response analysis to blast
• Whole building detailed frame analysis
• Detailed connection modelling to establish realistic connection performance
• Disproportionate collapse and column removal analysis
• Global robustness analysis
• Alternate load paths analysis
• Aviation security in airport development (ASIAD) compliance review
• Building fabric vulnerability assessment
• Arena blast testing
• Explosive storage and ammunitions process facilities design