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Is Resilience the New Sustainability? Part 2

Resilient design protects the vulnerabilities of buildings, landscapes, communities, and regions in a way that safeguards their residents and prevents the disruption of normal life. All new structures should be built this way; after all, you don’t have to be a construction professional or Orlando construction lawyer to see the inherent value of resilience.

In Part 1 of this five-part article, we discussed the importance of resilience, why environmental factors matter, and how cities are systems. Today in Part 2, we will cover the first five of the ten resilient design principles. We will go over the remaining five in Part 3. In Part 4 and Part 5, we will delve into some of the most damaging natural disasters and occurrences, and which resilient design strategies can help protect against them.

Resilient Design Principles

The Resilient Design Institute provides ten resilient design principles that explain the goals and fundamental nature of resilient design. The first five are as follows:

Resilience Transcends Scales

When it comes to resilience, a construction professional must think about everything from the micro to the macro. Resilience applies to a building, its surrounding community, and the larger region. Resilience also transcends time scales; building strategies should be both resilient immediately and resilient long term.

Resilient Systems Provide for Basic Human Needs

Resilience has to do with more than just preventing a building from becoming damaged. In the event of a disaster, resilient systems also take into account the following needs:

  • Energy
  • Food
  • Lighting
  • Livable conditions- e.g. temperature and humidity
  • Occupant health
  • Potable water
  • Safe air
  • Sanitation

Diverse and Redundant Systems Are Inherently More Resilient

Sometimes people mistake resilience for green building. Though there are a variety of topics on which the two overlap, the third design principle is not one of them.

The Resilient Design Institute explains, “While sometimes in conflict with efficiency and green building priorities, redundant systems for such needs as electricity, water, and transportation, improve resilience.” Should the primary system fail, the backup system(s) allow the community to weather an interruption or change.

Simple, Passive, and Flexible Systems Are More Resilient

If you are a construction professional, you already know how detrimental it is when a complex solution breaks down or requires ongoing maintenance.

Incorporating passive or manual-override systems is a crucial part of resilient design. When a Plan B is provided, it is easier to adapt to any potential condition changes.

  • Durability Strengthens Resilience
  • Strategies that increase durability also enhance resilience. The cornerstones of durability are:
  • Building practices
  • Building design (beautiful buildings tend to be better maintained and last longer)
  • Infrastructure
  • Ecosystems

If you would like to speak with an Orlando construction attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.