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Primer for Design of Commercial Buildings to Mitigate Terrorist Attacks

NCJ Number
Eve Hinman
Date Published
December 2003
108 pages
This guidebook presents concepts to assist building designers and owners, and government officials in mitigating the outcomes from terrorist attacks.
The focus of this guidebook is to provide building designers and owners, and local and State government officials with basis measures they can use to mitigate the outcomes of a terrorist attack on a private-sector building. While the primary focus of the information is for four types of buildings: commercial office, retail, multi-family residential, and light industrial, the concepts can be applied to other building types and/or existing buildings. The information is presented in eight chapters. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the report while chapter 2 focuses primarily on bomb threats, likely targets, and likelihood of occurrence. Chapter 3 discusses weapons effects that include blast pressure waves, initial blast forces, and the decay of these forces over time. Chapter 4 presents information on damage caused by explosions, including both structural and nonstructural components, while chapter 5 describes design approaches that can be implemented which are intended to limit or mitigate the damage caused by bomb attacks. Chapter 6 contains extensive qualitative design guidance for limiting or mitigating the effects of a terrorist attack. While the chapter focuses primarily on explosions, it also addresses terrorist attacks using chemical, biological, and radiological weapons. The final two chapters of the report discuss special considerations regarding multi-family residential buildings, buildings that include retail uses, and light-industrial buildings; and cost issues that need to be considered when prioritizing potential security enhancements. Figures, tables, and references