What is Resilient Building Design?

What is Resilient Building Design

Natural and human-made disasters have been an integral part of our lives, so finding solutions to minimize the resulting damages is essential. Technological advancements have made it easier than ever before to build homes and buildings that withstand these disasters.

Things to Know About Resilient Building Design

As the name suggests, Resilient building design is a set of practices and strategies that help in designing and building landscapes and communities that are resilient to the natural disasters of the region. It also takes into account the long-term impact of climate change that includes an increase in sea levels, droughts, floods, heatwaves, forest fires, and more.

Features/Principles of Resilient Building Design

Resilient buildings have certain features that help them to withstand natural and human-made disasters. Undoubtedly, the principles vary from region to region and according to the possible disasters that impact that region.

For example, buildings in Japan are built to withstand tsunamis and earthquakes that are a frequent occurrence in this part of the world, whereas buildings in New York City are designed to protect against floods.

But regardless of these differences, some basic principles go into the design of all resilient buildings, and they are as follows:

  • Uniform Application
Resilient strategies should be used across all buildings and communities of the region, regardless of its size and permanence.
  • Address Human Needs
All resilient buildings should address basic human needs, such as access to clean air and water and protection from nature's vagaries. No building can be termed as livable, leave alone resilient, if can't meet the basic human needs required for living and working.
  • Simplicity and Flexibility

At the heart of every resilient design are simplicity and flexibility as the former always leads to the latter. For example, systems that can be overridden manually are more flexible during emergencies when compared to a completely automated system.

Also, simple systems are more adaptable to changing weather conditions or needs, thereby laying the foundation for lasting solutions.

  • Durability
Another essential principle of all resilient buildings is durability, as the buildings should be constructed for long-term use. They should be built so that its maintenance is simple and easy, and it supports the surrounding landscape and ecosystems.
  • Local Resources
It's always a good idea to use materials that are available locally for construction. This not only reduces the cost and gives quick access to building materials, but will also be more conducive for lasting use. A good example is the use of renewable energy. It makes sense to use solar as the primary source of energy in a country in Africa that gets sun all through the year as opposed to Norway that doesn't have sunlight for six months in a year!
  • Tap into Nature

Over the last several millennia, nature has adapted well to the changing climatic conditions and natural disasters. So, turn to nature for cues on how to build resilient buildings that will survive these disasters. A rule of thumb is that any building strategy that protects the surrounding nature tends to protect humans too.

  • Social Equality
While building resilient buildings, it's equally important to keep in mind the diversity of communities and people because a society where people support and respect each other will be better adaptable to the natural changes that occur around us.
  • Work in Stages

It is impossible to achieve resilience in one-go, so always start with the basics and improve one step at a time. This enhances the adaptability of buildings to the emerging changes.

Thus, resilient building design is one that takes into account many factors needed to build landscapes, buildings, and communities that will last for a long time, regardless of the natural disasters and adversities that may impact it.

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