Clarkebond calls for greater consideration of engineering design in security planning

Buncefield blast

'Forensic investigation of blast damage to British buildings', a joint paper (ICE paper) written by Bill Keane, executive director at Clarkebond and Dr Philip Esper, director of EBI Engineering, has been published in the Proceedings of the ICE - Civil Engineering, May 2009, Forensic Engineering Special Issue.

The paper details how forensic engineering, including laboratory and on-site testing and computer modelling and analysis techniques is vital to blast damage investigation; assessing dynamic response, extent of damage and residual strength of buildings and structural elements.  The paper is based on Bill and Philip's 20-year experience investigating blast-damage including the IRA bombings in London, such as the 1992 St Mary Axe bomb and, more recently, the Buncefield Oil Depot, the largest peacetime explosion in the UK.

The predominantly technical paper also calls for civil and structural engineers and architects to '.... consider blast loading in their designs to protect society', despite the absence of detailed regulations for blast resistant design.  "This paper is timely." says Bill Keane, "As the government, led by the security minister Lord West, steps up the fight against terrorism by offering detailed advice to public building owners and managers on how to 'design out' threat, Clarkebond is able to use our experience to provide engineering design and advice for security planning".  (See 'War on Terror', Property Week, 09.01.09.)

Bill Keane leads the resilience & recovery skill group at Clarkebond, responsible for a group of specialists managing pre and post incident issues in the built environment such as hazard and threat review, blast and impact modelling, facade engineering, floor risk assessment, security planning and building & infrastructure reinstatement.