San Ysidro, CA

U.S. Border Crossing Stations


With more than 100,000 people crossing daily, San Ysidro is one of the busiest Land Port of Entries. This project reconfigures the port to reduce northbound wait times and improve U.S. Customs and Border Protection services. The new three-story, 87,000 sq ft administrative and operations building is located close to daily vehicular traffic, and therefore close to potential explosive threats. Expanding on previous research for blast-resistant walls using mild and High Strength Low Alloy Vanadium (HSLA-V) steel studs, SGH developed innovative blast-resistant wall designs for the new building using a composite cold-formed steel stud wall system at a fraction of the cost of more traditional blast-resistant systems.

Based on our work previously performed for the Vanadium Technology Program (VTP), which included field testing using live explosives and high-fidelity finite element simulations, we predicted enhanced blast resistance could be achieved for the system under high explosive threat levels.


SGH used dynamic finite element analysis to analyze prototype wall systems under the specified GSA blast demand and validate Single-Degree-of-Freedom (SDOF) calculation tools. The wall system components include standard cold-formed studs using mild steel, Sure-Board composite steel sheathing, and special attachment details. Our designs considered cantilever, single-span, and multiple-span walls with spans ranging from 5 ft to 27 ft tall. We estimated peak dynamic reactions of the walls for design of the supporting structural system and wall connection details. SGH provided comprehensive construction drawings and specifications to ensure enhanced blast performance under stringent deflection criteria is achieved.

Project Summary



Completion Date
New Construction
Structures | Advanced Analysis
Science & Defense
Clarkdietrich Building Systems | Protective Technologies Group
Specialized Capabilities
Seismic Engineering | Risk & Resilience Assessment

Key team members

Ronald Hamburger
Ronald Hamburger
Consulting Principal