Facility Siting and Design

The objective of a siting evaluation is to protect personnel and facilities from explosive or other highly reactive operations through proper facility design or separation. We use industry and government accepted methodologies (e.g. IBC, DoD, ATF) for the evaluation of siting and the orientation of facilities to manage the risk posed by reactive chemicals and explosives on a plant site. We believe that the objective of a siting evaluation is to protect personnel and facilities from explosive or other highly reactive operations at an acceptable risk level through proper facility design or separation.
SMS can assist you in understanding the regulations that apply to explosive operations. Our experienced staff understands civilian and military explosives manufacturing, handling and storage regulations and their application. We specialize in interfacing with the individual regulating agencies (e.g., city, county, state, and the federal government). Many of the smaller agencies do not fully understand the regulations and require thorough education on what your facility will be doing and what the regulations really mean to you, to them, and the public they desire to protect.
Although the regulating codes attempt to cover virtually all situations, a particular code or set of codes tends to focus primarily on an assumed set of situations or operations. The UBC, for example, recognizes that it cannot cover all situations and states that “the building official may require a technical opinion and report to identify and develop methods of protection from the hazards presented by the hazardous material.” Where different regulatory codes appear to conflict or where one is more or less stringent than another, technical analysis and the focus of the code must be used to determine the best fit for the situation. To do otherwise may adversely affect operations, increase risk in the event of an incident/release, and could inhibit future expansion of your facility.
The facility siting services that SMS offers includes, but is not limited to:

  • Development of paper or electronic submittal packages for explosive site plans (ESPs)
  • ESP support and assessments:
    • Review of current site plans, approval memos, operating procedures, related correspondence
    • QD Reduction Strategies
    • Identify data/testing required to support ESP
  • ESP support using Explosive Safety Siting (ESS) software
  • Identify/verify in-process hazard classifications
  • Perform maximum credible event (MCE) analyses
  • Structural response analysis and debris throw for exposed sites (ESs)
  • Identify and verify paired PES-ES relationships
  • Create or modify CAD drawings to support ESP submittal package
  • Verification/compilation of Geospatial Information System (GIS) data
  • GIS Support
  • Database tied to geospatial features
  • Create/finalize ESS databases
  • Create final ESS-based site plan package
  • ESS software training
  • Liaison with DCMA, regulators to achieve compliance, approval

Explosive facility siting issues include building design, facility configuration, barricades, and many other concerns. The damage or injury potential of explosions is determined by the separation distance between potential explosion sites (PES) and ESs; the ability of the PES to suppress blast overpressure, primary and secondary fragments, and the ability of the ES to resist explosion effects. Planning for the proper location and construction of PEP facilities and surrounding facilities exposed to PEP facilities is a key element of the explosives/toxic chemical site planning process. Proper application of these principles not only brings your facility into compliance but also manages and minimizes the risks in the event of an incident or release. This management process also ensures that risks above those normally accepted for PEP activities are identified and approved at the proper level of command.
Whether you manufacture explosives, have explosive intermediaries or use and store explosive materials as part of your process — we can help!