Main author

BRE Group Researcher Website
Last edited 30 Jul 2017

Designing to reduce the chemical, biological and radiological vulnerability of new buildings (IP 7/15)

BRE (Building Research Establishment) is an independent, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, operating in the built environment and associated industries.

On 7 September 2015, BRE published Designing to reduce the chemical, biological and radiological vulnerability of new buildings (IP 7/15) by Vina Kukadia and Alan Abela.

Designing to reduce the chemical biological and radiological vulnerability of new buildings.jpg

If there were a chemical, biological or radiological (CBR) release, it could have a major impact on buildings, their occupants and business operations and services. However, buildings are generally not designed to offer protection against CBR events.

Once built, retrofitting to mitigate against CBR impacts is time-consuming, disruptive and expensive. It is important therefore to consider and incorporate means of reducing the impact of CBR releases as an part of the initial design, planning and construction process.

This 12-page Information Paper considers ventilation and infiltration as the main potential routes for the ingress of contaminants into buildings and provides an overview of existing design standards, methods and practices that may be implemented at the design stage without adding significantly to costs.

Designing for CBR can:

  • Improve the security and protection for occupants.
  • Enhance indoor environments as a result of less environmental pollution ingress.
  • Offer commercial advantages to developers from providing a high-quality building with an advanced level of security and protection.
  • Shorten recovery phase following a CBR release, which may otherwise be extensive.
  • Offer savings in costs for remediation.

The contents of the paper include:

  • Introduction.
  • Ingress of contaminants into buildings.
  • Building air permeability (airtightness).
  • Ventilation.
  • Physical security of plant and equipment.
  • Fire safety and CBR incidents.
  • Building zoning.
  • Shelter-in-place and incident response strategies.
  • Building information modelling.
  • Summary.
  • References and further reading.
  • Appendix: Summary of strategies to reduce the impact of CBR releases on buildings.

--BRE Group

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki