Case study

Hotel blast threat analysis case study


Luxury hotels in the Middle East and South East Asia have increasingly been the targets for Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks in recent years, due to the large number of high profile western guests and relatively open access.

To help understand and mitigate this risk, Frazer-Nash worked in partnership with a private security firm to assess the threats posed by IEDs to new hotels being built for a large international hotel group. This included determining the likely entry routes and threat scenarios, and the development of protective design features and mitigation strategies.


We performed detailed blast analyses using the commercial software package LS-DYNA to determine loadings on the hotel facades and windows. This allowed us to predict the likely damage that could result from either a person or vehicle borne IED. 

We modelled the detonation and propagation of blast pressure from a number of charge sizes at various locations around the hotel developments. The analysis looked at detonations both inside and outside the buildings and included fragmentation modelling using our in-house fragmentation injury analysis code FNFRAG. We used pressure histories extracted from the blast models to determine minimum safe distances for blast-related primary injuries and the likelihood of glazing and facade failures.


This information was used to create a picture of the overall threat posed by an IED detonation in each of the proposed locations and to determine the most effective blast mitigation strategies.  Where a detonation was shown to be excessively hazardous, protective design features were proposed to reduce the likelihood of incursion to that location by a vehicle or person-borne threat.

The developer was given an accurate understanding of the cost-benefit of each proposed threat mitigation technique. The analysis led to a safer hotel and gave confidence to the hotel developer in the effectiveness of the protective design. 

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