Anti-terrorism and Force Protection Design

Anti-terrorism and Force Protection Analysis & Design


The New Los Angeles Federal Courthouse was designed to be architecturally stunning, sustainable with a LEED Platinum rating, operationally efficient, and resilient against wind, seismic, progressive collapse, and blast effects.  Careful and conscious coordination between architects, engineers, and physical security specialists was essential at all phases of this prominent design-build project.


ARA worked closely with Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Clark Construction beginning at the earliest stages of the project to develop and integrate innovative blast and progressive collapse mitigation strategies that worked together in a holistic fashion.  Technical solutions included blast-resistant serrated glass curtain walls which also provided nearly 50% reduction in heat gain, a floating cube over a resilient structural core and column system hung from a roof truss system fully capable of resisting progressive collapse through redistribution of load paths, and blast-resistant construction throughout the facility to maximize protection to occupants and functions throughout the facility from explosive terrorist attack.

ARA performed analysis and design services ranging from simplified hand calculations to single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) of select components, to full Finite Element Analysis of structural members and systems.  We utilized our extensive experience and understanding of applicable physical security criteria to develop blast loading and response criteria that led to more cost-effective solutions than were developed by competing teams during the bidding and concept development phases.  ARA engineers used these approaches and experience at all phases of the design-build project while working closely with all disciplines to develop safe, efficient, and practical solutions. 


As a result of ARA’s support of this design-build project and close coordination with all disciplines on the design team, the new Los Angeles Federal Courthouse is architecturally stunning, structurally resilient, sustainable, and secure facility.

Progressive Collapse Analysis

Blast Effects, Protective Design, and Physical & Electronic Security

ARA's internationally recognized engineers and security experts, along with our explosive testing capabilities, allow us to solve our clients... more

Modeling and Simulation

Modeling and Simulation

Tools for decision support and training for defense applications, the transportation community, medical and life sciences, and emergency... more


Risk Assessment and Management

ARA provides comprehensive risk assessment services and tools to maximize physical and electronic security, within the government and private... more

Test and Evaluation

Weapons Development, Testing, and Effects

From penetration and detonation underground, to air-blast, to a nuclear attack against U.S. satellites in space, ARA scientists and engineers... more