News Analysis

Resilient Retrofits for Fires, Floods, and Quakes

Resilient design is all very well for new construction, but how do we deal with billions of square feet of existing building stock?

Resilience, the ability of a building to remain functional or recover quickly after a major disruption, is becoming a more common consideration when designing new structures. Unfortunately, it’s too late for millions of buildings that are already in harm’s way. Or is it?

With some notable exceptions, retrofitting buildings for resilience can be more difficult and may also be an expensive endeavor, depending on what’s required. Yet in some cases—as with hospitals—it may be necessary. And in others—as with protecting homes against wildfire—it’s simple, cheap, and a no-brainer. But regardless of circumstances, the practice remains rare. Here we look at ways to retrofit buildings to make them more resilient against fires, floods, and earthquakes.

Published June 3, 2019 Permalink