When it comes to protection in the form of buildings, there are a few levels of protection that can be observed. For this blog post, we will focus on three building types: general protective structures, buildings that offer blast protection, and buildings that offer hazard protection.
This article was originally published in the March/April 2022 issue of BIC magazine. The author, Chris Priddy, is RedGuard's director of sales in the Gulf Coast Region. In recent years at RedGuard, we have experienced great success placing blast-resistant buildings on oil and gas worksites. As a result, we are proud to have added many new clients and seen a significant number of returning clients. It’s important for us to understand what has driven this growth. We have identified two differentiating factors. The first is our product lines. There is LeaseFleet, North America’s largest fleet of leasable blast-resistant buildings, and SafetySuite, our line of premium, suite-quality custom blast-resistant buildings. The second differentiating factor is that combined with this selection, we focus on impeccable customer service. When customers reach out to RedGuard, they are counseled on our product line by true subject matter experts who have an expansive knowledge of blast-resistant buildings. With the most tenured sales team in the industry, our team can help you find the perfect solution for your blast-resistant needs. In addition, we will answer any questions you may have regarding blast-resistant buildings or direct you to our online learning center, which is chock full of blog posts, videos, floor plans and collateral. Our fleet of blast-resistant buildings allows us to handle some of the largest projects in the industry. With multiple production centers around the globe, we can take on any blast-resistant need that may arise for a custom-designed and engineered blast-resistant building. At RedGuard, we take great pride in maintaining a positive culture and ensuring that we have the right professionals in all departments. When you are working with someone in our sales, service, logistics or accounting, you are dealing with a professional who understands and puts a premium on ensuring customer satisfaction is first and foremost. RedGuard consistently works to ensure clients have a positive experience. You can count on us to meet all delivery deadlines that are mutually agreed upon. RedGuard does not believe in painting a fictional picture of its capabilities in order to win an opportunity. When working with a client for the first time, we work diligently to make sure that it will be a positive working experience. The goal is to begin a long-term working relationship, based on delivering a product line that meets or exceeds the client’s expectations. We maintain a tight grip on the logistical scheduling that is imperative to our clients. Once the client is in the field utilizing our blast-resistant buildings, our service department will be focused on making sure that all issues the customer might experience will be addressed and rectified quickly. We want to ensure that our clients have little to no inconvenience while in the middle of a turnaround or outage. We understand that the kinds of projects we deliver are essential to maintaining successful operations within a facility. Therefore, when installing a custom blast-resistant building from RedGuard, you can count on a very polished experience with our service team during the installation and commissioning of your permanent blast-resistant structures and during their use in the field. In our accounting department, we take great pride in making sure that it is easy to do business with RedGuard. We want to ensure clients have pleasant and smooth transactions from the beginning and throughout the completion of any project. Efficient accounting practices ensure the client has little to no inconveniences throughout the term of any project and will be able to close out their job with peace of mind knowing that nothing has been left hanging in the balance. In addition, when working with our accounting department, you’ll find eager and friendly customer support agents willing to answer and settle any invoicing items that need to be attended to. It’s these fundamental principles that we at RedGuard hold dear and sacred to maintaining our industry-leading product and service lines. Please do not hesitate to reach out to RedGuard with any upcoming needs for blast-resistant buildings. For more information about blast-resistant buildings, visit us online or call (855) 733-4827.
This article, How to Stage a Blast Resistant Building, was originally published on our blog in its entirety in October 2021. This version was shortened for publication in the March/April 2022 issue of BIC magazine. Suppose you've researched different kinds of blast-resistant structures, like steel blast-resistant buildings, modular concrete blast-resistant buildings, or even blast-resistant tents or air shelters. You know that there is a lot of conflicting information about why you should buy one type over another. Since the beginning, RedGuard has long been in the blast-resistant building design business and done its fair share of testing, continuously upgrading and working on new methods of keeping occupants of hazardous areas safe. It's important to remember that with different types of buildings, there are many differences in how a building may be staged on the inside. Believe it or not, the way you arrange the things on the inside makes a difference. Additionally, proper blast design doesn't stop with the building structure. All non-structural items should be examined and scrutinized when manufacturing a life-saving product. A brief discussion of flex, or dynamic load transfer One of the protections that steel offers is its flexibility. When impacted by a blast wave, a steel structure will bend slightly rather than break apart. One of the keys to RedGuard's design is the ability to allow for some dynamic structural movement, while limiting total structural deformation. This is a key differentiator of RedGuard among other steel blast-resistant building designs. When it comes to a modular steel blast-resistant building like those available at RedGuard, there are some specific pointers about properly staging the building to accommodate flexibility. Because of the flex that could occur if a blast wave impacts a steel building, experts at RedGuard recommend that if large items are added to the building such as desks or other furniture, they are placed a minimum of two inches from the wall. This space allows the structure a minimal area to flex, thus absorbing the blast wave and avoiding the movement of furniture and large items. To attach items to a wall, they must be attached directly to a structural member, not to the substrate using a fastener with a high thread count per inch. The fastener should also be sized for the weight or size of the item being installed. "Anchored items" usually refers to cabinets, shelves, countertops or other large fixtures. For each anchored item added to a blast-resistant module, occupants must consider what would happen if it were to dislodge. It's important to note that if you have hanging cabinets in your blast-resistant building, keeping them closed and fastened (unless you are retrieving something) is essential. A cabinet that is left open could spill out, creating flying debris, or it could become dislodged during a blast. As such, RedGuard doesn't recommend using open shelving or cabinets without latching doors. Staging, design are key in blast-resistant buildings When manufacturing a life-saving product, a key point is that proper blast design doesn't stop with the building structure itself. The staging of added items is essential, and all non-structural items should be examined and scrutinized. Designing a blast-resistant building isn't straightforward. It takes a company with years of experience to meet (or exceed) blast-resistant design and performance standards, while also meeting national and local building codes. It takes the right knowledge and experience to combine specialty engineering with architectural engineering. Companies that aren't used to navigating the world of code enforcement can easily get tripped up along the way. These stumbles could result in a nonconforming building, additional costs incurred by the customer through change orders and, worst of all, a building that just isn't safe during a blast. RedGuard has the experience to know how to best incorporate simple items like fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and emergency egress lighting. Importantly, it can also incorporate more complex safety systems such as full fire detection and suppression systems, gas detection, hazardous area electrical components and specialized HVACs. For more information, visit www.redguard.com or call (316) 554-9000.
This press release, announcing the company's latest product offering, was sent on January 11, 2021 on behalf of RedGuard.
Blast loads are something we talk about at RedGuard. We write about their effects and protecting yourself and your team from the damage they cause. The term likely comes up more in our industry than in the course of normal conversations. At RedGuard, our business is safety; and explosions and the blast loads that come with them can be deadly. It’s our job to help people survive the destruction caused by high blast loads.
If you’re looking for optimal safety, design flexibility, resilience, and performance in building material, you can’t do better than steel. Not only does it stand up to natural and man-made disasters, but it helps keep people on your worksite safe, allowing site managers the peace of mind to know that they’ve created the most durable environment possible.
Wichita, Kan. – Transportation Specialists from RedGuard have been awarded several awards from the American Trucking Association (ATA), the national federation that represents every sector of the trucking industry in all fifty states. Steve Petz, Vice President of Sales and Operations, Steve Crider, Safety and Compliance Officer, Alan Borovetz, Transportation Manager, and Steve Madrigal, Transportation Specialist, (pictured, left to right) attended the awards ceremony as part of the Safety, Security, and Human Resources Conference and Exhibition, held in Indianapolis on September 8-10, 2021.
This article was originally published in the May/June 2021 issue of BIC Magazine. It is republished here in its entirety and includes an opportunity to schedule a meeting with the writer.
A facility siting study analyzes the strength of buildings on the premises and their ability to protect occupants in the event of a fire or explosion. It is one of the components of process hazard analysis (PHA) outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
What value do you place on your employees? People are the most valuable asset of your business. Protecting your staff in the course of their duties is the highest of priorities. If the nature of your work includes the use of volatile chemicals, then a blast-resistant building is a necessity to keep employees safe. Blast-resistant buildings are designed to withstand explosions in hazardous areas, so those who work inside them make it home safely every night. RedGuard builds blast-resistant buildings with the highest grade of steel to protect occupants from the effect of an explosion. Below, we will answer some of the most common questions about blast-resistant buildings.
Safety of the Employees and Equipment When you undertake a process hazard analysis and identify an explosion as a potential hazard, the safety of your employees is paramount. The nature of your work makes it impossible to situate everyone outside the blast zone. You need to provide ample protection within the hazardous area.
What Qualifies as a Petrochemical Facility?
This article was co-written for the June 2021 issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering by members of the staff of RedGuard and RedGuard Specialist Services. It is republished here in its entirety.
This blog was originally published March 8, 2021. Since this is a quickly emerging and growing market, it's been updated to reflect the current facts. RedGuard has had the good fortune to work in most of the major refineries and petrochemical plants in North America and internationally. We have appreciated doing our part to protect the lives of the workforce in these facilities.
The following article was originally published in the June/July 2020 issue of BIC magazine. It was written by Chris Priddy, one of RedGuard's subject matter experts and our Gulf Coast Regional Area Manager. RedGuard has been a leading designer and provider of modular blast-resistant buildings to the global market since the industry began, following a blast event in Texas City, Texas, in 2005. Our company was asked to provide a safe, blast-resistant alternative to the mobile and modular buildings on similar sites.
If you have a blast-resistant building on your site, you know that they require occasional service and maintenance. You may not know that there are alternatives to having the service performed by the company you purchased it from and that there could be a few minor ways to get the most out of performance. And, if you are considering a blast-resistant building purchase, you may be curious about what to expect.
The following article was originally published in the May 2020 issue of BIC magazine. It's published here in its entirety, including details that were edited out of the original article for space. It was written by Bryan Bulling, one of RedGuard's subject matter experts and our Northeastern US Regional Area Manager. While the use of blast-resistant buildings is widespread, there are still many in the industry who have not utilized modular buildings during outages and projects. Instead, they stage operations outside the facility and transport labor in and out.
This content was created for and originally published in the April 2020 issue of BIC Magazine. It was written by Dean Alcott, one of RedGuard's subject matter experts and our Market Development Manager. The bulk of blast-resistant buildings are utilized in large refinery and petrochemical facilities. Recently, there has been a dramatic increase at midstream facilities, like fractionation plants and compressor stations, of buildings for temporary use (rentals for turnaround and maintenance) and permanent use (control rooms and operator shelters).
The following article was originally published in March 2013. It was written by our company's founder, Jeff Lange. We've updated it to reflect current industry facts and trends. Although there are no regulations in place for the design and construction of blast-resistant buildings, many of us are working toward that goal. In the meantime, here is a list of questions everyone should ask before buying a blast-resistant building. If you'd like to read a more comprehensive guide to blast-resistant buildings, we've shared that too. 1. Was the Module designed and tested by a blast expert? The science of blast-resistant building design is no longer a new science, but it is still true that only a small group of experts have tested their designs. Make sure your blast-resistant building design has been taken off the drawing board and successfully blast-tested under the supervision of a well credentialed engineer. There's no shame in asking about your vendor's "experts." Even if they are civil or structural engineers, it's worth knowing about their training and background. Do they have years of experience in the science of blast-resistant design, or did they take a three day course to qualify them?
Choosing a blast-resistant building can be tricky. It’s not just a matter of deciding on a design and picking the amenities you want. Some factors come into play, and without the right partner or planning, it can seem like a complicated maneuver to get what you need to protect your site.
If you’ve worked in the oil and gas industry, you’ve probably heard a lot about OSHA regulations, or the term Process Safety Management. This article will touch on just one part of that system, the process hazard analysis, and the facility siting study that it will call for. The cost of a facility siting study is not an expense that one generally looks forward to. Still, when it could mean the difference between proactively spending money on a study, versus reactively spending money to pay for repairs, lawsuits, or damages, it’s easy to see the clear choice. RedGuard, for many years a leader in designing blast-resistant buildings, also offers niche engineering services specifically related to explosion resistance in classified areas. Our experts include specialists in the energy sector, risk management, as well as structural engineers, and chemical engineers with many years of experience in the analysis of impact and blast response. Our expertise in blast response comes from being pioneers in the industry.
At RedGuard, we realized from the beginning that having a culture centered around safety just made sense. We create a product designed to keep people safe, to ensure that at the end of the day, someone working in one of our buildings is going home to their family, even if the unthinkable happens.
Developing good safety habits in a manufacturing setting, refinery, or other industrial setting is the first step in cultivating a culture where safety is the first priority. This is beneficial for legal reasons if you're the person responsible for ensuring the safety of your team, but, as a short-term benefit, you can watch for improved morale. The long-term benefit is improved workplace health and safety performance and a culture that sustains itself when employees embrace safety and set an example to new teammates. We sat down with Steve Crider to discuss these benefits.
We’ve written recently about the problems with blast-resistant buildings, and one problem that we hear about sometimes has to do with blast-resistant doors. Blast-resistant doors are made of steel and weigh-in at around 450 pounds. That’s a lot of weight for a door, considering the average solid-core door on a home weighs well under 100 pounds.
Purchasing a blast-resistant building is no small responsibility to undertake. It involves months of planning (sometimes more than a year), depending on the scope of the project. Part of the due diligence on an investment of this size and magnitude is not only looking for benefits but also in looking at the challenges that one might encounter.
Every industry has its jargon, and after a while, it’s easy to forget that not everyone understands the terminology that we often hear on an everyday basis. This is especially true if you’ve just started in your career and haven't learned it all yet. Even those who have worked in an industry for a long time may not want to admit they don’t know the meaning of a common acronym, even if they understand its usage.
This content was created for and originally published in the May 2019 issue of Chemical Engineering. It was written by Bryan Bulling, one of RedGuard's subject matter experts and our Northeastern US Regional Area Manager. In March of 2019, two separate explosions and fires in the Houston area reminded those of us who work in, or close to the chemical industry, of the risks and dangers present in chemical facilities. Chemical plants in Crosby and Deer Park, Texas both witnessed explosions and fires that resulted in injuries, damage, environmental impact, and negative public blowback. In both cases, it took several hours or more for crews to regain control over the incidents. In the meantime, nearby residents, schools, and businesses hunkered down under shelter-in-place orders. Both facilities are reportedly named in lawsuits.
In an industry that is as young as that of blast-resistant buildings, much of the terminology is still very new. This industry only came to be in 2005, after an explosion at a Texas City refinery that killed 15 people and injured nearly 200.
In the oil and gas industry, there are no federal laws or regulations that control what precautions a facility has to take to maintain a protective environment in the event of an explosion on their site. (OSHA dictates a Process Hazard Analysis every five years, but leaves the methods of fulfilling that open to interpretation.)
This article was originally published in September of 2012. It has been updated to reflect current industry findings. In the blast-resistant building industry, we toss around the term "response level" all the time and assume everyone knows what it means. And maybe everyone here does, but the difference between a low response building and a high response building can mean the difference between life and death, so it's worth a closer look, even if you already know the basics. And, if you don't yet know the basics? it might be a good idea to read up on blast resistant buildings, from cost to common issues, to questions to ask before you buy. We've written the ultimate guide to blast-resistant buildings.
When scrutinizing blast-resistant structures, one of the first considerations to make will be the type of structure that you need. You should always make decisions based on the particular needs of your facility, based on determinations from your facility siting study or similar recommended practices.
The following article was originally published in the June/July 2018 issue of BIC magazine. It was written by Bryan Bulling, one of RedGuard's subject matter experts and our Northeastern US Regional Area Manager. As a building designer, I watched some of last year’s disturbing events unfold with both great sadness and professional interest — Hurricanes Harvey and Irma; the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Florida; and the seemingly endless list of cyber-related breaches. These all revealed areas where we can and should begin to address new safety and security measures. During this critical moment in environmental health and safety, I would like to offer some topics and insights that might prompt engineers and designers to improve the safety and security for the occupants of your buildings.
Explaining TRIR and Why It's Important At RedGuard, we take safety seriously, even down to saying that safety is in our culture. One of the ways we measure that is our TRIR, or Total Recordable Incident Rate. This blog post was originally published in 2018, but has since been updated with current numbers. As a manufacturer of blast-resistant buildings, it makes sense that knowing our safety rating would also be important to our customers. After all, if a company won't share their safety rating and they make a product designed to keep you safe, you're already starting on the wrong foot. So, as you can imagine, "What's your safety rating?" is a question our team gets asked fairly often. Here's how we approach that.
What Affects the Price of a Blast Resistant Building? If hazardous areas are part of life on your worksite, you’ve probably arrived here to determine what the real costs are associated with getting outfitted for safety. For many, a facility siting study indicates the need for blast-resistant buildings, or BRBs, to protect your team and valuable assets in the event of an explosion. Many factors can affect the cost of a blast resistant building, such as whether you lease standard units, lease modified standard units, or choose to have your BRB custom built. Here are some points to address when getting a bid from a manufacturer:
When a blast event occurs at a facility in the oil and gas industry, blackouts, disorientation, concussions, internal bleeding, and even fatalities can occur. While the latter components are widely published in the aftermath of an event, what is less known is the far-reaching and negative financial impacts of both personal injuries and structural damage. Discovering the impact of a blast event requires an in-depth look at the trickle-down and oftentimes continuous financial costs of the incident.
Can you afford not to have a blast-resistant building on-site? By their very nature, companies in the oil and gas sector handle highly volatile materials. As such, these companies should take the steps needed to protect both their personnel and facilities from the extensive damage that can occur during a blast event. Fortunately, a blast-resistant building (which is also referred to as a blast-resistant module, BRB, or BRM), can be the very solution that companies need to protect personnel and mission critical equipment during and after a blast event. The risks during a major blast event to human lives and bodies is high and arguably one of the most important considerations when investing in a blast resistant structure.
Every day our RedGuard sales directors are out in the field, meeting with customers and potential customers about blast-resistant buildings. This amounts to potentially hundreds of meetings a year. Our team is made up of professionals, subject matter experts in blast-resistant structures. They ascertain needs, they give "lunch and learn" presentations, and they listen.
It’s a pleasure when a client gives you free rein to run with a project, show what your product is truly capable of and design what the client really needs. When a client gave RedGuard such an opportunity, we were able to push the envelope for blast-resistant building design.
If you've landed on this page to specifically answer the question, "What is a blast resistant modular building?" then you've come to the right place. RedGuard has had an interest in blast resistant buildings since 2005, when the industry began to emerge in the aftermath of a blast event that killed 15 people and injured hundreds more. We've made it our business to protect lives, AND to offer a wealth of information and guidance about blast resistant buildings.
When working on a design/build project, a firm grasp of its intended purpose is critical to get the project’s design and estimate on the right track early. Recently, I participated in a discussion with a gas facility’s project team to establish design parameters for a control room project. As I took notes, I noticed that the terms “shelter-in-place” and “safe haven” were being used interchangeably to describe the building’s attributes by members of the team, as if they were the same. I immediately recognized the need to research the designations to educate the team on the unique characteristics of each. After some research, here’s what I found.
Imagine the scenario:
Blast-resistant building design gets more fun every year. The original designs conceived by RedGuard in 2005 were “bare bones,” which still have endless applications — from guard shacks to tool cribs. The latest blast-resistant building design interiors look more like luxury offices than metal buildings, with new variations emerging all the time. With corrugated metal as our basic building block, there’s no end to what we can do.
Safety can often mean different things to different people. Even within the same company, one person’s opinion on what’s considered “safe” may prove to be completely different from that of the person they work beside each and every day. To ensure that everyone is always on the same page, it’s important that companies institute an in-depth corporate safety program that will develop common beliefs and supports a culture that—above all—values the well-being of everyone who steps foot within the operation.
When a major refiner came to RedGuard in 2005 asking us to design a blast-resistant building (BRB), we knew immediately this was the reason we were in business. We saw the potential for creating an important product for safety developed around this new type of building that could massively cut construction costs for refiners, yet do a better job than traditional buildings when it came to protecting personnel.
Let’s face it. Petrochemical management comes with more than its share of headaches. From coordinating subcontractor work schedules to jumping through compliance hoops, it can feel like you’re running through quicksand. But with proper planning and the right vendors, there are ways to make it easier. At RedGuard, we’re doing everything we can to streamline the process of buying and leasing blast-resistant buildings (BRBs). We want to make blast resistance easy.
A turnaround is a lot like a military exercise. You have to deploy specialized units of personnel onto different parts of the field, furnish them with the right equipment, keep them fed, facilitate a chain of command, reorganize resources into constantly changing configurations of efficiency and, most importantly, keep your people alive. One of your enemies in this battle is time because lost productivity can cost millions of dollars per day.
We all have too many plates spinning when the turnaround season shifts into full swing, so it’s important to plan early for the additional and replacement buildings you’ll need at your facility during this busy time. You should organize the blast-resistant buildings that you will lease many months ahead to save on shipping costs and assure you’ll have the units you need on time. But leased blast-resistant units for turnarounds are only part of the planning picture. Early in the year is the time to take a look at your entire strategy for blast protection, including the permanent units you plan to purchase.
Blast-resistant modular buildings are becoming standard fixtures in petrochemical operations around the world, replacing traditional buildings at a lower cost and with a shorter construction time. But the technology is still new enough that we get a lot of questions on the specifics of incorporating these life-saving structures into operations. Most people are surprised at how simple it is. It begins with a site study.
A custom home builder doesn’t toss a stack of plans in front of you and tell you to pick one. You tell them what you want, maybe sketching out some floor plan ideas and a list of options and amenities. Then they work with you to turn it into a viable architectural design.
When our first lease units rolled off the production line years ago, blast-resistant buildings (BRBs) were pretty standard. Our first goal was to design the best blast protection in the world — which we did — but features and options were very limited in the beginning. Our next step was to find new ways to meet as many different client needs as possible, in terms of size, options, amenities and regulatory compliance. RedGuard’s LeaseFleet, currently the largest lease-ready fleet of BRBs of its kind, offers more options than we ever dreamed of when we helped launch this industry.
RedGuard has spent many years focusing on how to build the best blast-resistant building (BRB) in the world, but we’ve also been listening to our customers and learning how they operate during the transition to safer and more productive work spaces. In the early stages of the BRB industry, our customers usually specified the requirements of the products we built for them but, today, we’re making the process easier by taking on increasing amounts of the operational planning that goes into adding blast protection to a petrochemical facility. Once you give us a site study, we can take significant portions of the process off your shoulders. The result is a low-impact, money-saving BRB installation that integrates seamlessly with your operation, allowing you to concentrate on the rest of your job.
A lot of myths still surround the use of blast-resistant buildings (BRBs) as traditional building replacements. If you’re planning construction at your facility, this article could help you save hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention countless lives.
As the petrochemical industry returns to a regular maintenance cycle after the cutbacks of 2009 and 2010, turnaround planning is ramping up nationwide. Now that the use of office trailers is declining in blast zones, demand for blast-resistant buildings (BRBs) is headed for an all-time high. At RedGuard, we’ve been aggressively increasing our inventory of lease unit BRBs in anticipation of this upswing. Still, nationwide demand is expected to exceed supply, so this should be one of the first calls made by turnaround planners, if they hope to maximize all the benefits of work site blast protection.
This article was originally published in 2012. It has been updated to reflect current findings consistent with today's blast-resistant buildings and the petrochemical industry. Upsizing and downsizing are part of life in a petrochemical refinery. That could mean capital expansions that reposition limited staff and resources, or turnarounds that change the face of an entire operation. It’s crucial to work through these changes with minimum interruption to business flow. That means the importance of supplier selection is a top priority. Safety is a bigger concern than ever, and it’s important to choose trustworthy partners during these precarious times. Your choice of suppliers for temporary, blast-resistant buildings is an important one. So, what factors should be considered when choosing a supplier? Let's consider.
Everyone talks about safety, as we should in the petrochemical industry, but there are some gray areas in blast zone safety ratings. So, it’s equally important to talk about reliability. Yes, a building can be rated for a certain zone, but if it’s rated “high response” (which means “high damage”) in that zone, there will almost certainly be casualties if people are in the unit during a blast event.
There was a time when the science of blast protection was poorly understood. We built petrochemical control centers out of reinforced concrete or masonry blocks because it was the best-known construction method, but it was never a good solution to the challenge of protecting the people inside. Now we have a new option, and the industry has aggressively adopted it.