Building with Resiliency in Mind

Posted on September 26, 2017

After a hurricane, the cost to rebuild and repair can run into the hundreds of millions. Construction firms are taking action, investing in resilient buildings that can withstand flooding and power outages from future natural disasters.

“It’s entirely a builder or a property owner’s choice of whether they want to do extra work to prevent property damage or have the right insurance or not,” Simon Koster, a mechanical engineer and principal at JDS Development Group, told Science Friday. “Those are the choices that people are starting to make voluntarily.” After Hurricane Sandy hit New York City in 2012, Koster’s group decided to design a building, American Copper, resilient to hurricanes. The lobby is lined with stone that will not weaken with moisture, and the mechanical equipment, typically found in the basement, is located on the second floor above the flood line. Additionally, a park doubles as a bioswale and helps divert water from the building. Koster predicts building resilient architecture will become the “new normal” for cities and that it is no longer a question of if a storm will strike, but when. 

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