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Facility Siting

ABS Group is a leading provider of Facility Siting services with experience performing hundreds of studies for a wide range of explosion, fire and toxic material hazards. Our full service solution for meeting facility siting requirements worldwide includes flammable dispersion modeling, explosion modeling, building damage assessment, prediction of hazards to building occupants, fire modeling, toxic dispersion modeling, and building assessment, design and upgrades.

Global Expertise in Facility Siting

Our Facility Siting services developed as a result of industry needs to evaluate the potential impact of explosion, fire and toxic hazards to occupied buildings. ABS Group has actively participated in developing API Recommended Practices with the oil, gas and chemical industry, which form the basis for compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (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. 

Occupied Building Risk Assessment Guidance

UK operators must show that they have assessed the risks and implemented the necessary controls in line with the Control Of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH Regulations 2015). This requires the operator to prepare a safety report for the purposes of demonstrating that "major accident hazards and possible major accident scenarios, in relation to the establishment, have been identified and that the necessary measures have been taken to prevent such accidents and to limit their consequences for human health and the environment."

ABS Group's Warrington, UK Office utilizes the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) Occupied Building Risk Assessment guidance to perform such studies, which is accepted as the UK industry best practice guidance document.

Facility Siting References

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

Facility Siting Services for Process Safety Management

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 to clearly understand the risks. Our knowledge and experience with a range of hazard analysis tools allows us to select and apply the most appropriate techniques for each situation. Primary services offered for hazards analysis include:

  • Accident Scenario Development
  • Explosion, Toxic and Fire Hazard Prediction
  • Consequence Based and Risk Based Evaluations
  • Portable Building Siting
  • Facility Siting Study Updates/Revalidation
  • Facility Siting for new process or new building construction
  • Detailed Structural Assessments of buildings for blast loads
  • Emergency Shelter Evaluations during fires or toxic releases
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling for dispersion, explosion or fire hazards
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA) modeling for building response
  • 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 to 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. Representative tasks include:

    • Structural Design of Blast Resistant Buildings (New and Retrofit)
    • Blast Specifications for New Buildings
    • Specifications for Blast Resistant Modular Buildings
    • Non Structural Mitigation - Windows, Doors and Debris Hazards
    • Thermal Hazard Mitigation Design
    • Mitigation Action Plan Development and Evaluation of Alternatives
    • Project Planning and Front End Engineering Design (FEED)
    • Bid Support and Construction Administration
    • Design of Control Rooms and Safe Havens
    • Portable Building and Tent Siting Support
    • Finite Element Analysis of Structures and Equipment

    Extreme Loads and Structural Risk Services

    The Extreme Loads and Structural Risk (ELSR) division at ABS Group supports government agencies in testing controlled blasts at our Shock Tube Test Facility in San Antonio, Texas – one of the largest-scale shock tube test facilities in the U.S.

    Our Safety, Risk and Compliance services go beyond just performing a study and remediating the findings. We also have experience in the following areas to provide a complete solution to any client:

    • Extreme loads and structural risk safety assessments and studies
    • Facility Siting guidelines and corporate risk criteria development
    • Air Tightness testing of buildings including blower door testing, tracer gas testing and infrared thermography
    • Explosion testing to evaluate structural response to blast, including structural retrofits
    • Remote and onsite Training Services

    Learn more about our Shock Tube Test Facility for controlled blast tests.

    Shock Tube Test

    Shock Tube Test Facility - Used to test the blast capacity of structural designs in a controlled environment.

    Shock Tube Test 2

    The shock tube also has the ability to mimic vapor cloud explosion and pressure vessel burst blast waves.

    Related Services

    Process Safety Management

    No other firm has as much knowledge and experience in the process safety arena. Commercial clients and government agencies worldwide turn to us to upgrade their level of process safety performance. It is part of a larger Safety, Risk and Compliance effort that has helped many industries avoid major accidents, as well as manage and comply with changing safety requirements. Services cover topics that include:

    • Management of Change
    • Pre-Startup Safety Review
    • Incident Investigation and Response
    • Facility Siting

    Compliance Management

    As regulations and standards change, ABS Group can address the specific challenges at your facility and provide comprehensive solutions. We can not only evaluate assets, but also implement any needed adjustments to your infrastructure. We will help you remain efficient while working to meet or exceed regulations, achieving compliance with a number of governing bodies including:

    • NERC
    • PHMSA
    • HSE 
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