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BIPS 09: The Urban Blast Tool (UBT)

The Urban Blast Tool (UBT) quantifies the effects of blast in urban environments, including the influence of buildings on blast pressures propagating from explosions located in urban settings. The tool also quantifies the potential for these blast pressures to damage primary structural members of buildings and accounts for the sensitivity of several common building design types to progressive collapse due to damage of key support members. Finally, the tool evaluates the likelihood that blast pressures may damage building equipment needed for Emergency Evacuation, Rescue and Recovery (EERR) operations.

The current version of the UBT was designed for the NYC Financial District and has already been deployed to a 24/7 organization in Manhattan. Future UBTs are being designed for NYC Mid-Manhattan, downtown Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Expanded versions will incorporate more detailed collapse prediction algorithms and data fields that can be entered for each building within the studied area to accommodate building specific performance characteristics. These fields will identify the location of the different emergency and response systems and structural details that influence the potential for progressive collapse. In addition, a generic version of the UBT for use in a wide range of U.S. cities is under development. The current version of the UBT is classified as secret. People with appropriate security clearance can request access to the tool by writing to: here are two demos of the software.

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Last Published Date: June 29, 2015

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