In recent years, more nonmilitary buildings, particularly federal buildings and correctional buildings, are considering protection from terrorist type attacks as part of building security. This is a brief overview of some of the main considerations in designing blast resistant structures.
No one wants to be involved in
a scenario like this—a building
passes fire inspection, yet
fire strikes and almost within
minutes reduces the structure
to charred rubble. People are
dead. Others are left homeless.
This was the case in January 2009 when, within
days of one another, fires at two separate retirement
homes—one in Orillia, Ontario and the other
in Saguenay, Québec—decimated the buildings and
caused the deaths of several residents.
High winds subject buildings to large horizontal forces as well as to significant uplift. The critical damage to buildings in such events typically occurs due to uplift on the roof. Reinforced concrete masonry is well suited to resist these loads due to its relatively large mass available to resist the large uplift and overturning forces.
Concrete masonry homes reflect the beauty and durability of concrete masonry materials. Masonry housing provides a high standard of structural strength, design versatility, energy efficiency, termite resistance, economy and aesthetic appeal. Concrete masonry can also be finished with brick, stucco or any number of other finish systems if desired. Concrete masonry's mass provides many consumer benefits. It has a high sound dampening ability, is energy efficient, fire and insect proof, durable and can easily be designed to resist hurricane force winds and earthquakes.