The design of a new building subjected to the design blast load shall ensure that the structural response, i.e. the damage level as defined by the ductility ratio (relative deformation) and the hinge rotations is within acceptable limits as defined by the client (low, medium or high response).
The quantitative consequence evaluation (QCE) of an existing building subjected to a potential or stipulated blast load shall determine the vulnerability (risk) of the occupants of the building by determining the structural response, i.e. the damage level as defined by the ductility ratio (relative deformation) and the hinge rotations.
A qualitative consequence evaluation (QCE) of an existing building sujected to an explosion may be performed by comparing the peak overpressure and impulse with existing damage data.
Design of buildings subjected to blast loading is a service provided by only a few structural engineers.
That may not be surprising when you consider, that the discipline is not taught at any college or university. However, many new structural design and analysis software packages claim to contain a dynamic analysis feature, which may lead some engineers to believe that these programs can solve problems regarding blast design. Let us warn you! It may not be so! These features are, as far as we understand, mainly geared towards the design and analysis of structures subjected to vibrations from mechanical equipment or earthquake.
Most buildings designed to resist blast loading are not more complicated than they can easily be broken down into a few simple structural components, that can be analyzed using simple dynamic analysis methods. This is where the computer program 'SDOF' is used. This software allows the designer to determine the maximum deformations of each main structural element or component of the building, and hence determine the degree of damage to the building ranging from no to light damage to total destruction.
We are proud to say, that we now have the ability to design and analyze buildings subjected to blast loading more accurately and efficiently than ever before.
The blast design is performed to the clients design standard, if such a standard exists. Alternatively, the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineering) publication: "Design of Blast Resistant Buildings in Petrochemical Facilities", shall be used.