The rise of terrorism has created a need to design buildings that can contain blasts and reduce the likelihood of injuries to the buildings' occupants. This article discusses four design features that can be incorporated into your commercial building in order to reduce the impact of blasts:
Buildings with a horizontal orientation can survive blasts better than buildings with a vertical orientation. This is because the horizontal orientation increases the surface area that is anchored in the ground. Consequently, it will be harder for the entire building to collapse during a blast. Secondly, the horizontal orientation of the building reduces the exposure of the building to attacks that are conducted from a distance, such as rockets fired from a nearby hill.
Create Safe Havens
Another way to reduce the injuries that building occupants can suffer during a blast is by creating safe havens within that building. Safe havens can take the form of bomb shelters in the basement of the building. Building occupants can retreat into those havens in order to avoid being injured when sections of the building start collapsing after the initial blast. It is important to place these havens far from the main entrances of the building so that the occupants have a chance to secure themselves inside the haven before any attackers can reach them.
Minimise Non-Structural Elements
Many people are often injured by flying objects, such as lights and ductwork during a blast. It is, therefore, important to design a building in a way that limits the quantity of non-structural elements that are used. The few aesthetical elements used in such a design will reduce the flying debris that can injure people.
Have Secluded Stairwells
Stairwells help people to escape from a building after a blast. However, some people can get injured in case those stairwells aren't far from the main sections of the building. This is because the stairwells are likely to be filled by smoke from the blast. The reduced visibility in such a situation can increase the potential for injuries. Stairwells that are located far from the main entrances provide a better escape route for the building occupants.
As you can see, you can reduce the likelihood of injuries during a blast by making simple modifications to the design of your commercial building. Work with a civil engineering expert so that he or she can help you to select the most appropriate modifications that can be implemented without increasing your construction budget.
Contact a civil engineering company for more information and assistance.
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