A common terrorist threat worldwide is the use of large vehicle bombs to attack high value targets. Detonation of large yield devices can cause significant damage to nearby buildings, facilities and infrastructure with potentially high loss of life and large economic losses. Blast pressures can have major consequences on critical facilities such as nuclear power plants, causing economic loss, environmental damage and system failure. Closely spaced structures in a dense configuration provide a complicated setting for evaluating airblast pressures caused by explosive devices. The presence of multiple buildings can channel the airblast, resulting in significant effects on load magnitudes at range from the detonation. Buildings reflect propagating blast waves causing increased loading at some locations and reduced loads elsewhere due to shielding from direct blast waves. The complex interaction between structures, streets, alleys and geographical terrain can have a major impact on structural loads. Currently, the most common way to estimate airblast pressures resulting from above ground explosive detonations is to use fast running, approximate blast tools such as CONWEP. These simplified tools may not provide accurate guidance on airblast pressures in complex environments. The following paper illustrates the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) calculations of complex building configurations to quantify the resulting blast environment. Comparisons with simplified methods are presented. An approach to using a database of CFD simulations, customized for a specific site, to provide a fast running blast assessment tool is described. This approach provides a convenient, fast running tool for designers and security planners to visualize and accurately quantify the hazard from any threat size and location within the area of interest.

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