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Facility Siting Services

Facility Siting Services

Facility Siting Regulations and Compliance Training

What Will I Learn?

  • Understand the regulatory requirements for Facility Siting
  • Review the API RP 752, 753 and 756 documents
  • Review the methods needed to satisfy the requirements
  • Understand what the recommendations mean to your company
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Facility Siting Study and Services

ABS Group is a leading provider of Facility Siting and other building risk assessment services with experience performing hundreds of studies for a wide range of explosion, fire and toxic material hazards worldwide.

What Is a Facility Siting Study?

Facility Siting is a requirement for all oil, gas and chemical facilities following the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Process Safety Management (PSM) regulations. It falls within the Process Hazard Analysis section of the PSM regulation.

What Is Facility Siting

ABS Group has actively participated in developing API Recommended Practices with the oil, gas and chemical industry, which form the basis for compliance with EPA and OSHA regulations. Compliance with these recommended practices requires a detailed evaluation of fire, toxic and explosion hazards to promote the safety, integrity and reliability of occupied buildings.

Sites are constantly changing; therefore, facility siting and risk assessments should follow suit. According to OSHA and COMAH, the facility siting study should be updated and revalidated every five years at a minimum.

Alternative Global Regulations

For those in the United Kingdom and Europe, your facility may be following the Control Of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH Regulations 2015), or the Seveso III rather than the OSHA PSM regulations. In this case, you may be looking for studies such as Occupied Building Risk Assessments.

What Is An Occupied Building Risk Assessment?

OBRA is the process of evaluating occupied buildings for process hazards inside the fence line. Under the COMAH Regulations, operators must demonstrate that the risks to employees in office and other workplaces on site are As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP). Undertaking an OBRA will assist you in demonstrating that you have managed the risks to ALARP, in addition to developing and prioritizing the risk reduction measures in your building mitigation plan.

Did You Know?

Our engineers are committee members on the API 752/753/756 boards, as well as involved in the Mary Kay O'Connor PSC Steering Committee and Technical Committee.

We have been actively involved in developing many Facility Siting references, including:

  • API Recommended Practice 752 (API RP 752), Management of Hazards Associated with Location of Process Plant Permanent Buildings

  • API Recommended Practice 753 (API RP 753), Management of Hazards Associated with Location of Process Plant Portable Buildings
  • API Recommended Practice 756 (API RP 756), Management of Hazards Associated with Location of Process Plant Tents
  • ASCE publication, Design of Blast Resistant Buildings in Petrochemical Facilities and the Center for Chemical Process Safety
  • CCPS publication, Guidelines for Process Plant Buildings for External Explosions and Fires
  • CCPS publication, Guidelines for Vapor Cloud Explosion, Pressure Vessel Burst, BLEVE and Flash Fire Hazards

Evaluate Your Explosion, Fire and Toxic Hazards

Hazards Analysis

Evaluating fire, toxic and explosion hazard consequences is required by regulatory agencies to demonstrate worker protection and public exposure. ABS Group quantifies consequences to help our clients clearly understand their risks. Our knowledge and experience with a range of hazard analysis tools allow us to select and apply the most appropriate techniques for each situation. 

Hazard Remediation

Once an unacceptable hazard is identified, it must be remediated. Our engineers have extensive plant experience developing practical measures to reduce the magnitude or severity of the hazard and reduce the consequences. This is accomplished through a variety of measures including process changes, relocation of personnel, hardening of facilities and new facility construction. We assist clients in developing a comprehensive remediation plan that includes costs and schedules.


Modeling and Simulation


Facility Assessment and Consequence Evaluation Tool (FACET3D) is a software code that combines blast load prediction and building damage modeling into a quick-running tool for engineers, security analysts and site planners. FACET3D models high explosive and vapor cloud explosions and predicts the overpressures and damage to surrounding objects. Results are displayed in a 3D graphical environment. Additional versions and applications of this software include FACET Viewer, FACET-FGS (Fire Gas Simulation) and FACET-AT (Anti-Terrorism). 


Additional Modeling Capabilities

  • FRED
  • FDS

Facility Siting Services and Capabilities

ABS Group provides a variety of services to support Facility Siting Studies and OBRAs. 

6 Steps to a Safer Facility



API 752/753 allows for either a consequence or risk-based assessment. ABS Group has experience with both approaches and has incorporated them into our proprietary analysis software FACET3D.

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Flammable and Toxic Dispersion Modeling

Flammable and Toxic Dispersion Modeling

ABS Group performs dispersion modeling using both simplified (PHAST) and CFD (FLACS) methods. Dispersion modeling is used to visualize the flammable cloud extents for flash fire consequences or vapor cloud explosion consequences should the cloud reach congested regions.

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Explosion Modeling

Explosion Modeling

Explosion modeling includes Vapor Cloud Explosions (VCE), Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions (BLEVEs), pressure vessel ruptures and other energetic events. ABS Group has deep experience modeling explosions, performing explosion testing and investigating explosion accidents. The blast loads from explosion modeling determine the building's structural and non-structural (windows and doors) response and the occupant vulnerability.

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Fire and Gas Modeling

Fire and Gas Modeling

Fire hazards to personnel depend on occupants either evacuating or sheltering in place for flammable releases. For evacuation, the availability of exits and the vulnerability of occupants while evacuating are compared to criteria. For shelter in place, the building construction and fire resistance is compared to the exposure thermal flux or flame impingement.

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Building Assessment and Design

Building Assessment and Design

ABS Group analyzes building responses, including survey and analysis of wall and roof components using methods from Single Degree Of Freedom (SDOF) to Finite Element Analysis (FEA). Our design experience around new and retrofitted buildings for blast resistance includes a range of projects and construction types that meet specific client needs, including operator protection, equipment protection and minimization of building downtime.

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Building Upgrades

Building Upgrades

Upgrade of existing buildings requires knowledge of which components need strengthening and how those components relate to the rest of the building. Often strengthening a component may require changes to connections or other structural elements due to the changing load path. ABS Group engineers have performed many structural retrofit projects all the way to completion and have identified multiple options to increase a buildings resistance to blast in the most cost-efficient way while minimizing construction impacts.

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Related Services

Shock Tube Testing

Our Shock Tube Testing Facility located in San Antonio, TX, is used to test the blast capacity of structural designs in a controlled environment, mimic vapor cloud explosions and pressure vessel burst blast waves.

Shock Tube Test

Shock Tube Test 2

Physical Security Risk Management

Our Physical Security Risk Management services support organizations to protect their facilities against man-made hazards. Our services include Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection, Security Threat and Vulnerability Assessments, Protective Design and Security By Design. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Are there options other than a Facility Siting Study?


What is the difference between a Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) and a Facility Siting Study?


How do I know if I need a Facility Siting Study?


How long do I have to make recommended changes after a Facility Siting Study?


After I complete my Facility Siting Study what is next?


What additional services are available related to Facility Siting?


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