What are Blast-Resistant Modular Buildings?

If you want to know what a blast-resistant modular building is, we have the answer for you. RedGuard Specialist Services, as a Joint Venture Company of RedGuard and Specialist Services, is a market leader in the design, engineering and fabrication of blast-resistant modular buildings. It is our business to help you protect people and equipment from an explosion at your facilities, and to provide guidance to our potential clients about blast-resistant solutions.

So, what is a blast-resistant modular building? A blast-resistant modular building, also known as Blast-Resistant Module (BRM) or Blast-Resistant Building (BRB), is a modular structure made to withstand explosions. Its key purpose is to protect personnel and equipment in hazardous environments where there is a risk of an explosion, such as oil refineries, chemical plants and other similar sites.

The main feature of a blast-resistant modular building is represented by thick steel walls, which are designed to sustain a high level of blast pressure. In addition, the interior of the unit includes non-structural components, such as lights, electrical, cabinets, plumbing, and other internal fixtures, all of which are designed with the same assurances against a potential blast.

Regulations covering blast-resistant modular buildings

Unfortunately, currently there are still no official regulations that cover blast-resistant modular buildings. Even though some recommended practices provided by the American Petroleum Institute (API) are available, these cover permanent and portable structures located within zones where there is a blast risk. Known as API RP 752/753, these recommended practices ensure the protection of occupied buildings against potential hazards, such as an explosion, by recommending specific blast response ratings. Find out more about regulations in the technical article we published.

As an authority in protection against blasts, RedGuard Specialist Services recommends the use of blast-resistant modular buildings that have been engineered, manufactured and tested to provide a low or medium response rating. Buildings with high response rating may be still considered blast-resistant, but could sustain structural damage in case of an explosion, hurting people and damaging the equipment housed in them. In this context, we need to emphasise that response rating reflects the damage incurred by the module after a blast event. Therefore, a low or medium response rating means low or medium damage, while a high response rating means high damage to the building. A high response level module usually leads to injuries or even fatalities in case of an explosion. That is why all RedGuard Specialist Services blast-resistant modular buildings have either a low or medium response rating.

Now that you have a better understanding of what blast-resistant modular buildings are, we have prepared for you a few recommended practices on buying or renting them.

Purchasing a blast-resistant modular building

Blast-resistant modular buildings are available in various shapes, sizes and specifications. When sourcing a blast-resistant modular building, you can choose a custom-built building that can serve any application you require (control centre, operator shelter, offices, etc.). At RedGuard Specialist Services, each customised unit is designed and engineered in line with customers’ requirements and specifications. Beside custom-built buildings, we also provide standardised blast-resistant modules, which combine popular combinations of amenities found in customised units. This pre-engineered product line is aimed to save time and lower costs for the customer.

Renting a blast-resistant modular building

When you need blast-resistant modular buildings only temporarily, you can opt for rental. The LeaseFleet product line at RedGuard Specialist Services is available in 8ft wide, 11ft wide and 12ft wide modules, as well as multi-section solutions, which consists of joined modules. Renting blast-resistant modular buildings is the ideal solution for temporary requirements in areas at blast risk during a shutdown, turnaround, or while waiting for a permanent blast-resistant building to be built.

Prices of blast-resistant modular buildings

Blast-resistant modular buildings have different specifications, and thus result in different costs. However, you can consider the following key aspects affecting the building price:

  • The size of the unit;
  • The blast rating;
  • The type of amenities required;
  • The certification required; and
  • Whether it is a rental or a sale.

Four steps for a blast-resistant modular building purchase

  1. It is a good idea to start with a facility siting study that will help you in determining the different hazard zones. Such a study will also highlight other requirements, like whether the existing buildings need to be moved, retrofitted, or replaced.
  2. If you do require a new blast-resistant modular building, you first need to determine its specifications, its use and amenities, aesthetics, location, and budget. Find out more in our article: Ask 5 questions before choosing a blast-resistant module.
  3. Consider the period during which you will require the blast-resistant modular building, so you can determine if it is better to rent or buy.
  4. Send your request for quotation to a trusted company like RedGuard Specialist Services.