How resilient design can be used to creatively combat disaster

March 10, 2017 Sanjana Saluja

The risk of natural and man-made disasters is ever-present. The extreme weather conditions, as well as slow-onset events like sea-level also threaten buildings and cities. The desire to live comfortably is forcing building owners to adopt resilient design in the buildings. Construction Dive explores what's in store for resilient design.

No matter the aspect of life — health, relationships, career, finances — resilience is all about being able to overcome negative impacts, bounce back and move forward. It just so happens that the same holds true for construction.

The monetary investment in construction projects can range from thousands of dollars for home improvements to billions for skyscrapers and massive mixed-use developments. And, of course, there is often no price tag that can sufficiently represent the creative capital and effort expended in seeing the most lavish structures come to fruition. Therefore, it makes sense that owners would want their buildings’ designs to be as resilient as possible against earthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes, violence and other natural and man-made events.

Why, then, has it only been in the last few years that resilience has become an industry buzzword? Read more to find out

For Alex Wilson, president of the Resilient Design Institute in Brattleboro, VT, his journey toward disaster- and threat-proof buildings started after he participated in the reconstruction efforts following Hurricane Katrina.

"I thought that was going to be the turning point that got a lot of people involved in resilience, but it wasn’t until Superstorm Sandy that it got peoples’ attention," Wilson said.

Add to that an increase in severe weather events like droughts and excessive rainfall, and people are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to use design to protect themselves and their buildings. "It’s been a slow process, but I think it’s building steam," he said.

Find out how you can address resilience on multiple levels here.

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