When it comes to blast-resistant buildings, you need to ensure the integrity of the building’s engineering in order to keep your team protected in the event of an explosion. We often think about safety, but do not consider how reliable our information and products are.
An extremely important aspect of integrity you should consider is where the information about products or services you are buying comes from.
If your blast-resistant building company relies solely on their in-house engineers, then you are not guaranteed accurate, unbiased information. Instead, look for companies that use third-party engineers who have nothing to gain regardless of the results. Keep this in mind when analyzing data, watching blast tests, and ultimately choosing your blast-resistant building.
Another aspect to consider is structural integrity, which is an integral engineering tenet that ensures that a building or structure operates for the exact purpose it was designed. Structural integrity in blast-resistant buildings (BRBs) ensures that the BRB can support its weight, perform as expected, maintain safety, and minimize risks and hazards in case of accidents that result in blasts. Structurally sound BRBs are designed to prevent buckling and other forms of malformation for the length of its expected lifetime.
As a facility leader or supervisor, your first priority is the safety of your staff and equipment. Blast-resistant buildings have been brought to your attention and you are now in the market for a service provider. Where do you start and how do you determine that your vendor's products have been tested and that there is integrity in their engineering?
First, you must do ample research on different BRBs and their offered benefits. More information will serve to inform your decision-making process. There are various sources of information, not just from BRB vendors, but also from other industry practitioners that will familiarize you with the options at your disposal and help you choose the best option to suit your needs.
Also, in the course of your fact-finding mission, your sources must be credible, trustworthy, and free from conflicts of interest. In our expert opinion, this is best gleaned from third-party engineers who tested the blast-resistant building design. They know the design, materials, and all safety features incorporated in the structure. They should be able to expound and confirm its structural integrity.
A final, but most important, criterion is the company's proven performance illustrated by their willingness to make their blast test reports available when potential customers ask for it. Anyone can make claims about the quality and performance of their products, but when it comes to something as sensitive and vital as the safety of human life, transparency and proven results must take center stage. Your best vendor will publicly demonstrate the results of their blast tests (video evidence is the gold standard here) and will commit to re-testing time and time again for complete transparency and truly assured quality.
Third-party Engineers & Testing
It is critical that you choose a blast-resistant building company that uses third-party engineers in order to avoid conflicts of interest. Remember that outside engineers have nothing to gain from the outcome of a blast test, whether good or bad.
As a comparative example, consider consumer products. Everyone agrees that consumer products should be safe, but no one trusts that the companies who mass produce them will create products that are safe. For this reason, they have a set of standards, which are actually used across many industries and products (ASTM) and there are hundreds of testing companies who test products to these standards.
These high standards need to be upheld for blast-resistant buildings- remember lives are at stake. You cannot trust a company’s promises. You must get unbiased, and data-driven proof that your team will be safe and the best way to do that is by ensuring the blast resistant building company you choose uses third-party engineers.
Structural integrity is not just a demonstration of good design; it must also encompass the maintenance of said design for the entirety of the structure's lifespan. As a facility leader, safety must heavily underscore the design of your BRB. Can your vendor illustrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the BRB was designed specifically with safety in mind? If so, how do they intend to prove this?
Also, do you trust your assessment of the proffered design? Does the design of your vendor(s) bear all the markings of safety and integrity that suit your needs? Remember the step we mentioned earlier about research? It will come in handy here to help you narrow down on vendors who have met this yardstick.
Another important consideration to be made in determining structural integrity- can your vendor of choice definitively prove the science behind their design? Do they have published and verified blast tests? Do they have commentaries from third-party structural engineers who can verify the same? What does the industry say about their products? These are pertinent questions that need concise and unassailable answers before you can proceed with any blast-resistant vendor.
Finally, do you trust the materials incorporated in the structure of the BRB? Multiple materials are used in blast-resistant buildings, but very few have stood the test of time and quality in creating and maintaining structural integrity. At RedGuard, our SafetySuite custom blast-resistant buildings are made from steel, which we have found to be the safest and best-performing material that meets every safety standard set by various industries. We are confident that it will meet your impressive standards of safety and performance.
Tested and proven structural integrity has your most important concern at the very core of its premise: the utmost safety of your team members and facility. Sound, yet adaptive design, the incorporation of industry-strength steel, and published unassailable blast test results are your best bet to ensure that your blast-resistant building will truly keep you and your staff safe, no matter your working conditions. RedGuard is among the only BRB vendors to make our blast test results available online and to provide our test report when requested. This is a proven testament to our commitment to your safety. RedGuard also uses third-party engineers to ensure that you are given unbiased, and trustworthy information. Ensuring integrity has never been so important. Keep these factors in mind when selecting your blast-resistant building to keep your team safe.