Resilient Design: Planning for Risk

Once building owners have categorized and prioritized risk through forecasting and assessing, they can then plan and implement resilient strategies that will enable them to function during an extreme event and quickly resume normal operations afterward. Planning does not eliminate risk, but rather anticipates risks through adaptation and mitigation.

As the above illustration indicates, planning considers a number of factors most relevant to a particular building type and location–from improved insulation and shading techniques that mitigate heat gains, to renewable energy sources that reduce reliance on the central grid, to a centrally located security guard station that increases employee safety.

A building near a floodplain, for instance, may consider including a storm-water retention basin and native plantings within the campus landscaping to mitigate the impact of increased flooding incidents. Similarly, buried power lines may reduce incidents of power failure during severe storms and high winds.

Through resilient planning, building owners can safeguard their investment, protect building occupants, and quickly adapt to changing circumstance. In future posts, we will consider forecasting, assessing and planning in more detail as we guide clients through a holistic approach to planning for a resilient future.