ATLANTA, GA — Twenty-first-century tactics: Protecting the security of our nation, its citizens and infrastructure from domestic and foreign acts of terror has sadly become an all-too-frequent reality. From the Twin Towers in New York City to the Newton, Conn., school massacre to the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, earlier this month, we are reminded that the structural integrity of high-traffic public buildings can easily be called into question.
“The need to incorporate anti-terrorism force protection measures into the design and construction of new and renovated public buildings is growing steadily,” says Scott L. Weiland, PE, a veteran blast specialist with Innovative Engineering Inc. (IEI), a national structural engineering and blast consulting firm based in Georgia. Specific measures might include the use of blast protection and progressive collapse prevention, he said.
Weiland, who received specialized advanced blast design training, has more than 20 years’ experience in the field, including building and site physical security design of Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Veterans Administration (VA) new and renovation projects.
The prevention of progressive collapse—an event where all or part of a structure collapses after being damaged by an explosion, accident or deliberate act—is a building design element that redistributes the load of a failed column to adjacent columns. Blast protection includes blast resistant walls, doors and windows, among other elements.
This month’s Ankara attack happened nearly five months after the assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. According to CNN reports, the fatal blast blew a hole in what appeared to be a building situated on the compound’s exterior, near a walkway for embassy employees and their guests.
Adds Weiland, “While we can never out build a determined terrorist or defy the laws of physics, we can design or renovate public buildings with structural elements that consider the threat of terrorist acts—an unfortunate, sad, and oftentimes deadly reality of our times.”
To learn more about anti-terrorism force protection or to inquire about blast design for government projects, visit the Innovative Engineering Inc. company website (www.ieiusa.com).
About Innovative Engineering Incorporated:
Innovative Engineering Inc. is an award winning and nationally recognized structural engineering firm. Headquartered in Georgia, we have successfully completed unique and challenging projects throughout the country. We are a medium size firm large enough to handle most any project but small enough to ensure principal involvement. Please visit our services and projects pages to view our diverse project experience.