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Resilience is the New Sustainability

February 8, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm | $15
Resilience is the New Sustainability – What this Paradigm Shift Means to the Architectural Profession

Resilience is the New Sustainability – What this Paradigm Shift Means to the Architectural Profession

In the 20+ years since LEED® was introduced to the architectural community, disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy and the Christchurch Earthquakes have exposed the need for our buildings to not only have a low impact on the environment, but for the environment to have a low impact on our buildings. The US Resiliency Council was founded to assist architects and engineers in communicating the value of resilience against earthquakes and other natural hazards to their clients and the public.

This presentation will introduce resilience based design and give architects useful tools to 1) set explicit performance objectives for projects, 2) perform cost-benefit and return on investment analyses of design options, and 3) implement and promote USRC building ratings on projects that add an additional dimension to their overall sustainability services. We will discuss several initiatives in Oregon that are considering resilience, and how the resilient design of buildings is an essential component of improving community resilience.

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In this presentation participants will learn about:

  1. What the building code really gets you in terms of earthquake resilience
  2. How owners consider resilience in their long term capital strategies
  3. What the US Resiliency Council is doing to communicate and promote resilience based design
  4. How architects can engage with clients and their design team to incorporate earthquake resilience into their overall sustainability services

Evan Reis, SE, PEUSRC Executive Director and co-Founder
Evan Reis, SE, is the Executive Director of the US Resiliency Council. He works with public agencies and private companies nationwide to promote resilience and protect buildings and infrastructure against natural and man-made risks. Evan focuses on developing comprehensive resilience management strategies that include, mitigation, emergency management and business continuity planning, and financial risk transfer.

Evan co-founded the US Resiliency Council in 2011 as a way to educate building stakeholders and the public about the gap between the growing sustainability movement and true resilient design. The country was made painfully aware of this gap little more than a year later, in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Evan noted that even though there were more LEED certified buildings in the New York area than anywhere in the world, these buildings were built to have a low impact on the environment, not for the environment to have a low impact on them.

Improving local community and regional resilience in natural and manmade disasters is a national imperative. Key to the success of this challenge is the need to understand the performance of the nation’s building stock in terms of safety, repair cost and recovery. The vision of the USRC is to make the public more aware of their potential risks in natural disasters, and provide them with information to make better-informed decisions on owning, renting, leasing and insuring properties, so that market forces will drive the building design, and procurement process toward more resilient building design.


Cover image courtesy AIA Portland.


The Center for Architecture
403 NW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97209 United States
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