As Hunter Buildings celebrates its 22nd year in business, we are proud to be considered a global leader in our industry.
Over the years, Hunter has pushed the boundaries of what can be accomplished in blast resistant module (BRM) design by finding ways to say “yes” to customer requests and providing solutions to their safety concerns. , space, functionality and engineering. Modular solutions offer customers an accelerated solution to their projects without the difficulties presented in on-site construction. Integrating a blast component into a modular design can be extremely complex, as all blast pressures must be considered and overcome.
In September 2020, Monument Chemical selected Hunter to provide an explosion-proof Motor Control Center (MCC) building for its Houston site. Monument Chemical engineers requested a modular solution with a high blast component. This required the building to be placed and anchored to an existing slab and a concrete floor to be added to the building to accommodate the electrical equipment.
Hunter consulted Thornton Thomasetti on the design to ensure the structure could support both lifting and adjustment, as well as maintain the integrity of the blast without the reinforced flooring, which is typical of a BRM. The MCC building’s blast-resistant modular units were designed with removable floor joists, floor beams and posts, which provided the bracing required during lifting and installation. All temporary bracing elements, including posts and floor elements, had bolted connections to avoid hot work in place when removing these elements.
After the units were installed, post-installed anchor bolts were provided at the perimeter of the building to secure the units before pouring the interior slab. A reinforced concrete slab was then cast inside the units to achieve a robust lateral load transfer of the BRM perimeter blast forces to the foundation system. To achieve the bending moment and shear load transfer to the interior floor slab, evenly spaced rebars with end plates were welded to the perimeter floor beams of the Hunter plant units . A rigid floor diaphragm was provided by means of this interior slab, which evenly transferred blast reactions from the wall into the foundation below. Finally, in order to achieve shear load transfer at the interface of the cast slab and the foundation, evenly spaced vertical studs were also provided at the top of the foundation.
When the project was designed and executed, Hunter was able to deliver a cost-effective solution that met all of the client’s requirements.
“The integration of Hunter Buildings and Hunter Site Services ensures that the MCC building is a quality product, delivered on time and without problems,” said Trent Weiss of Siege Engineering. “It met Monument’s needs and works as specified.”
Very soon after the completion of the MCC building, Monument embarked on a new project. As the lab building involved would be part of the critical path, Weiss understood that it was a difficult schedule coupled with a complicated design. Based on Hunter’s previous success, we were selected to supply both the building and site works.
“Hunter and the headquarters and monument teams came to a consensus on the initial design, and Hunter was able to provide a specific layout layout to accommodate two different uses in the building,” Weiss said. “They responded very effectively to the client’s needs. Both the R&D and analysis groups have functional and personalized workspaces. The main challenge for Monument was the amount of energy the building would need. Hunter identified these needs early on, which allowed Siege and Monument to plan and run an adequate power supply to the site. Hunter communicated very well with all the groups involved throughout the process and helped resolve some design issues and schedule related to laboratory equipment.
Hunter is grateful for the trust our customers place in us. We look forward to the future and the new design challenges that will arise as the market continues to reinvent the features and processes that can be contained in a BRM.
For more information, visit www.hunterbuildings.com or call (281) 452-9800.