President Bill Mather discusses creation of FORTRESS
“Why did BakerRisk decide to design and build hazard resistant buildings?”
This question is one that the President of FORTRESS Protective Buildings, LLC (FORTRESS), Bill Mather, commonly gets asked. To read Bill’s response, see the article in the June/July 2020 issue of BIC Magazine. As a follow-up to the interview with Bill, BakerRisk had the opportunity to speak with Karen Vilas, Principal Engineer at BakerRisk and FORTRESS team member, about her impressions of the BIC interview.
“The BIC interview captures how passionate Bill is about this product, which he truly believes is the best building available to industry for saving lives.” Karen went on to explain that FORTRESS is an extension of the BakerRisk mission: Manage hazards and risks through high value services, products, and research. “With the majority of Bill’s career focused on protecting people from operational hazards, Bill became frustrated with there not being an industry solution for a building that truly protects people.” Karen laughs, “Then one Monday morning, Bill came in to work with a scale wooden model he’d made with John Dyer, excitedly saying they had the solution.”
Two years later with the full support of the BakerRisk team, FORTRESS was released to the market with a modular, turnkey building solution that has been proven through a full-scale testing program to provide a high degree of protection for fragment, blast, thermal, gas ingress (flammable and toxic), and extreme weather hazard protection. According to Karen, “Not only is FORTRESS a product that is representative of BakerRisk’s client focused culture, but through Bill’s leadership and BakerRisk’s innovation, has become a product able to provide high protection in the form of small (<200 ft2) to very large (>20,000 ft2) floorplans that can serve as everything from a guard shack to a control room.”
“When you review the full-scale testing videos of FORTRESS’s protection against other hazard resistant structures, there is no comparison. The question quickly becomes – which building would you rather be in?”