March 10, 2017
The idea that buildings can be designed to be resilient in the face of natural disasters has gained traction over the past few years. People, more and more, are becoming aware of the need to use design to protect themselves, and their buildings.
But why is this discussion recent? Natural disasters have been around forever, so it could be deemed odd that the resilience issue hasn’t entered the discussion. But then again, maybe it isn’t so odd. For one thing, threats are geographic. What might work for an earthquake in California won’t be effective against a hurricane in Louisiana, or a blizzard in upper New England.
Sometimes resilience can include designing for effectiveness in the aftermath of a disaster. Architect Julie Frazier with Perkins+Will said that survivors of Hurricane Katrina perished from heat exhaustion in medical facilities that didn’t have operable windows. Allowing the windows to let in fresh air would have saved lives, she said.
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