Precast Protects Life

November 30, 2022

Precast concrete sets the gold standard for protection against man-made and natural disasters. Learn how precast concrete resists all sorts of hazards such as terrorism, hurricanes, fires, toxic releases, and blasts. Our most recent issue of Ascent highlights precast concrete applications across different market sectors and buildings.

Meeting Anti-Terrorist Fore Protection Requirements (ATFP) Federal Guidelines

Precast, prestressed concrete is an inherently strong, durable, and low maintenance material that can contribute to health and life safety on projects of many kinds. It shows remarkable resilience against severe storms, earthquakes, fires and even blast events. As owners, developers and designers nationwide think more about preserving the essential functions of their buildings and the surrounding communities, even in the face of disruption from natural or human-caused forces, the more important it becomes to build for life.

The Warrior-In-Transition (WIT) Complex at Fort Carson, Colorado, consists of four buildings providing administrative support, education, training and housing to military personnel and their families. The architects at DLR Group adhered to the requirements of Anti-Terrorist Fore Protection (ATFP) requirements in addition to blast resistance without sacrificing aesthetic freedom. The design incorporated a very durable and energy-friendly skin that is maintenance free and maintains its Craftsman style visual appearance for the life of the building. Aesthetics, energy performance, fire resistance and timing were important goals on this project.

Read the complete article HERE for more project details and how DLR Group collaborated with a PCI-certified producer to deliver additional features such as maximized daylighting and other indoor environmental benefits to these families in need.

Data Defense

Beyond literal lives, maintaining the way of life for people, communities and nations relies on having critical infrastructure and buildings that can remain in operation, even when faced with physical threats. In a society highly reliant on technology, data centers have become a key piece of our infrastructure. It is extremely important that these data centers, and the data housed inside, always remains safe.

To keep these facilities operational during and after catastrophic events, data centers require high design loads to resist the forces of natural disasters. Precast concrete structures have the advantage of being able to transfer these forces through proper load paths down to the foundation. In response to severe storms, hurricanes and tornadoes, testing and demonstrations have shown that impact from airborne debris is easily resisted by an insulated wall panel system. In addition, all precast members can be designed and constructed to meet a 4-hour fire rating.

The inherent durability of the material delivers a core stability and resilience beneficial to data centers. As with military facilities, full-scale testing of precast wall panels has demonstrated excellent energy absorption of blast loading. Progressive collapse requirements can be accommodated in the early stages of connection design and product placement. Precast can deliver that while still offering an impressive degree of aesthetic flexibility, accelerated schedule, energy efficiency and other benefits.


Precast Concrete Multi-Hazard Resistant 3-D Modules

Precast concrete cast as three-dimensional (3-D) units provide a new level of protection beyond even Federal Emergency Agency-compliant storm shelters and prison cells. Tindall Corporation and BakerRisk®, an industry leader in hazard identification and designing buildings for man-made and natural hazards, recently partnered to create a multi-hazard resistant building called FORTRESS (Fragment Overpressure Radiation Toxic Resistant Emergency Safety Shelter). Built with more robust, 8-inch-thick walls and heavier reinforcement, these modules arrive on-site as one piece without joints. FORTRESS modules are designed as monolithic, air-tight structures.

The modules have undergone rigorous testing, demonstrating their ability to withstand exposure to fire, remaining steadfast and within elastic range during blast impact. They are able to remain operational and be reused after a catastrophic event. This is important for the safety of the occupants and continued facility operations.

Read the complete article here to learn more about these turnkey buildings.


Keep precast concrete and the Mid-Atlantic region’s precast businesses in mind for your next project. Find helpful design tools, project resources, and detailed information on working with precast in our comprehensive Solutions Center.

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