• Protecting Buildings and Their Occupants from Airborne Hazards (USACE, 2001)

It would be wise to consult a variety of available resources to develop the best overall building protection strategy.


Information collected from test beds and current deployments is insufficient to provide comprehensive guidance on protection options for buildings across the DOD complex. Although many lessons were learned, the ability to extrapolate data and results that are specific to one facility to other facilities and situations is difficult to assess. Some observations can be made despite these limitations. (The role of test bed and decision support tools in a process for deployment of building protection is discussed in detail in Chapter 6.)

When the different groups of threat agents are considered (see Chapter 2), the group to which most buildings are most vulnerable—“cannot detect and cannot treat”—is not addressed by the more advanced technologies of LP-4. The only options to address these greatest vulnerabilities are the LP-1 and LP-2 options. Therefore, the building protection systems deployed in many high-asset federal buildings focus on LP-1 and LP-2 approaches.

The committee observed that some existing programs considered the initial costs of a building protection system and paid less attention to maintenance and operation costs, which have to be sustained by operational funds or some other continuous funding source. Both initial and life-cycle costs (that is, initial costs plus maintenance and operation costs) are higher for active than passive protection. The increase in cost limits the sustainability of active protection at present, except in the highest-asset facilities. The cost is likely to decrease and sustainability is likely to improve as the accuracy and reliability of sensor systems improve over time. Decision support tools such as BPTK will become important integrative tools for the design and implementation of building protection, particularly if these tools become repositories for performance data and costs of current and future deployments.

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