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How to Build Better Buildings

buildingsUS design and construction companies along with building owners and operators have agreed to incorporate resilience in planning, building materials selection, design, construction and operational techniques.

The industry groups define resilience as the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from and more successfully adapt to adverse events.

The leadership of almost two-dozen leading design and construction industry associations used the occasion of Building Safety Month to issue a joint statement on resilience.

The statement commits the design and construction sector organizations to improve the resilience of the nation’s entire built environment through research into new materials, construction procedures and other methods to improve the standard of practice. Among other things, they also committed the industry to educating itself through continuous learning; to advocating for effective land use policies; to responding to disasters alongside first responders; and to planning for future events, with a strategy for fast recovery.

The organizations that have signed the statement are: American Council of Engineering Companies, American Institute of Architects, American Planning Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Interior Designers, American Society of Landscape Architects, American Society of Plumbing Engineers, ASHRAE, Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America, Building Owners and Managers Association, International Code Council, International Interior Design Association, Lean Construction Institute, National Association of Home Builders, National Institute of Building Sciences International Facility Management Association, National Society of Professional Engineers, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Urban Land Institute and US Green Building Council.

“The built environment industry strives to design, construct and operate buildings to withstand both natural disasters and man-made hazards,” ASHRAE president Bill Bahnfleth says. “We must use the knowledge gleaned from disasters like the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Superstorm Sandy, last year’s Oklahoma City tornado and others, as well as predictions of the effects of climate change, to our advantage to save lives and infrastructure in the future.”

Photo Credit: New York City Manhattan Skyline via Shutterstock


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