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Building and Infrastructure Protection Series Tools

The Building and Infrastructure Protection Series (BIPS) is a series of publications and software tools developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) to provide guidance on risk assessment and mitigation against multi-hazard events. The series emphasizes strengthening and protecting critical infrastructure from the impacts of a terrorist attack. The objectives of the publications and software tools are to reduce physical damage to structural and nonstructural components of buildings and critical infrastructure, and to reduce resultant casualties from impact events that include:

  • manmade hazards, including explosive blast, and chemical biological, and radiological (CBR) agents; and
  • natural hazards, including floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disaster events.

For more information on Building and Infrastructure Protection Series tools, contact bips@dhs.gov.

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Aging Infrastructure: Issues, Research, and Technology

This publication reproduces most of the papers delivered at the Aging Infrastructure Workshop, held at Columbia University in New York City on July 21-23, 2009, as well as a few that were received but not presented during the workshop. In addition, the appendix contains summaries of the breakout sessions held during the workshop.

The purpose of the publication is to support the DHS S&T Directorate's goal of accelerating the delivery and understanding of enhanced technology that addresses the challenges of aging infrastructure. The primary focus of this document was transportation infrastructure. However, the similarities to other infrastructure, such as energy infrastructure, were also considered.

If you would like a copy of Aging Infrastructure: Issues, Research and Technology, please contact bips@dhs.gov.

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Integrated Rapid Visual Screening Series (IRVS) for Mass Transit Stations

The Integrated Rapid Visual Screening is a quick and simple tool designed to determine initial or relative risk and resilience for mass transit stations. The mass transit manual and software tool address heavy rail, light rail, commuter rail, trolleys, and buses. Assessment is based on features that can be observed during a rapid visual inspection. The knowledge for calculating both risk and resilience is embedded in the software tool. Interactions between various transit station attributes are accounted for using pre-assigned weights, interaction logic, and context-based algorithms founded on engineering knowledge and tool validations. Risk is based primarily in target attractiveness (for manmade hazards).

For natural hazards, the tool uses probability of occurrence. Risk is the product of consequences, threats and vulnerabilities. Resilience is computed as a combination of robustness, resourcefulness, and recovery factors using information such as hardening, training, and redundancies. Information obtained from the IRVS analysis can be used by law enforcement agencies, emergency managers, facility managers, engineers and architects to support higher-level assessments and mitigation measures.

IRVS Software Highlights:

The software for the IRVS family of tools is now digital and includes integrated capabilities for mass transit, tunnels, and buildings in one software package. This facilitates data collection and functions as an effective data management tool. Assessors can use the software on a PC tablet or laptop to systematically collect, store, and report screening data. The software can be used during all phases of the IRVS process (pre-field, field, and post-field).

Capabilities include:

  • Digital catalogue and forms
  • Field data collection and storage
  • Automatic risk scoring
  • Printable reports
  • Google Earth application

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Integrated Rapid Visual Screening Series (IRVS) for Tunnels

The Integrated Rapid Visual screening is a quick and simple tool designed to determine the initial or relative risk and resilience of a tunnel. A tunnel is defined as a passageway through or under an obstruction, such as a city, mountain, river, or harbor. Assessment is based on features that can be observed during a visual inspection. The knowledge for calculating both risk and resilience is embedded in the tool. Major tool interactions are automatically calculated by pre-assigned weights, interaction logic, and context-based algorithms based on knowledge and tool validations. Risk is based primarily in target attractiveness (for manmade hazards).

For natural hazards, it uses probability of occurrence. Risk is the product of consequences, threats and vulnerabilities. Resilience is computed as a combination of robustness, resourcefulness, and recovery factors based on information such as hardening, training, and redundancies. Information obtained from the IRVS analysis can be used by law enforcement agencies, emergency managers, facility managers, engineers and architects to support higher-level assessments and mitigation measures.

IRVS Software Highlights:

The software for the IRVS family of tools is now digital and includes integrated capabilities for mass transit, tunnels, and buildings in one software package. This facilitates data collection and functions as an effective data management tool. Assessors can use the software on a PC tablet or laptop to systematically collect, store, and report screening data. The software can be used during all phases of the IRVS process (pre-field, field, and post-field).

Capabilities include:

  • Digital catalogue and forms
  • Field data collection and storage
  • Automatic risk scoring
  • Printable reports
  • Google Earth application

Learn More:

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Integrated Rapid Visual Screening Series (IRVS) for Buildings

The Integrated Rapid Visual Screening is a quick and simple tool designed to determine initial or relative risk and resilience for buildings based on visual inspection only. The IRVS for Buildings categorizes 15 building types and addresses 20 hazardous events: internal (intrusion, blast and CBR); external blast and external chemical, biological, and radiological releases from 100, 300 and 1,000 feet; earthquakes (ground shaking and ground failure; floods (still water and velocity surge); wind (hurricane, tornado, and other wind events); landslide (rainfall and earthquakes); and fire (resulting from earthquakes, blast, or arson. The knowledge for calculating both risk and resilience is embedded in the tool. Major tool interactions are automatically calculated by pre-assigned weights, interaction logic, and context-based algorithms based on knowledge and tool validations. Risk is based primarily in target attractiveness (for manmade hazards).

For natural hazards, it uses probability of occurrence. Risk is a product of consequences multiplied by threats multiplied by vulnerabilities. Resilience is computed from a combination of robustness, resourcefulness, and recovery factors based on information such as hardening, training, and redundancies. Information obtained from the IRVS analysis can be used by law enforcement agencies, emergency managers, facility managers, engineers and architects to support higher-level assessments and mitigation measures.

The next version of the IRVS for Buildings will be fully compliant with the Physical Security Criteria for Federal Facilities, an Interagency Security Committee (ISC) Standard, and Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) design criteria.

IRVS Software:

The software for the IRVS family of tools is now digital and includes integrated capabilities for mass transit, tunnels, and buildings in one software package. This facilitates data collection and functions as an effective data management tool. Assessors can use the software on a PC tablet or laptop to systematically collect, store, and report screening data. The software can be used during all phases of the IRVS process (pre-field, field, and post-field).

Capabilities include:

  • Digital catalogue and forms
  • Field data collection and storage
  • Automatic risk scoring
  • Printable reports
  • Google Earth application

Learn More:

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Preventing Structures from Collapsing

This technical report documents the development of the Urban Blast Tool (UBT) for the Manhattan Financial District (BIPS 06). The report describes the technical considerations and studies performed in the development of the UBT. These include consideration of the influence of the urban landscape and environmental factors on the propagation of blast pressures. The development of the UBT also involved studies to determine the vulnerability of different column types and the potential for steel moment frame, concrete moment frame and flat plate construction to suffer extensive structural collapse as a result of first floor column failure. In addition, analyses of Emergency Evacuation, Rescue, and Recovery (EERR) systems and developed fragility information were conducted to determine the likelihood of damage as a result of an improvised explosive device (IED) attack. These are the first systematic analytical studies to evaluate the functionality of the equipment following an explosive event. This report will be updated yearly, as the UBT is updated.

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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: BIPS@dhs.gov.Featured here are two demos of the software.

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Reference Manual to Mitigate Potential Terrorist Attacks against Buildings, 2nd Edition

This manual is a revised and expanded version of FEMA 426. BIPS 07 provides an updated version of risk assessment techniques, a new concept on infrastructure resiliency, and identifies new protective measures and emerging technologies to protect the built environment. The objective of this manual is to reduce physical damage to structural and non-structural components of buildings and related infrastructure, and also to reduce resultant casualties during conventional bomb attacks, as well as attacks using chemical, geological, and radiological agents. This manual provides design guidance to the building science community of architects and engineers, to reduce physical damage caused by terrorist assaults to buildings, related infrastructure, and people.

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Primer to Design Safe School Projects in Case of Terrorist Attacks and School Shootings, 2nd Edition

This manual is a revised and expanded version of FEMA 428. BIPS 08 provides the design community and school administrators with the basic principles and techniques to design a school that is safe from potential physical attacks and, at the same time, offers an aesthetically pleasing design that is functional and meets the needs of the students, staff, administration, and general public. This second edition of FEMA 428 focuses on the threats posed by physical attacks on a school by terrorists or targeted shootings. The manual is intended for use by schools who feel they are at risk to attack and is designed to meet the needs of all schools, including those with serious security concerns.

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The Building Design for Homeland Security Training Course

The purpose of this training course is to familiarize students with assessment methodologies available to identify the relative level of risk for various threats, including blast and chemical, biological, or radiological (CBR) agents. The course introduces students to publications BIPS 07, FEMA 426 and FEMA 452 and offers practice in providing mitigation measures for a range of manmade hazards. This course is targeted for engineers, architects, building officials, and the law enforcement community.

More information about the course can be found at FEMA.gov.

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