The role of building codes in furthering community resilience and the importance of incorporating resilience and future impacts of climate change into the process of developing building codes and standards were highlighted during an event hosted by the White House May 10.
“The built-environment industry strives to design, construct, and operate buildings to withstand both natural disasters and man-made hazards,” David Underwood, president of ASHRAE, which took part in the White House Conference on Resilient Building Codes, said. “We must use the knowledge gleaned from disasters like the recent earthquake in Kumamoto, Japan; Superstorm Sandy; flooding in India; and others, as well as predictions of the effects of climate change, to our advantage to save lives and infrastructure in the future.”
Representatives of ASHRAE, the National Institute of Building Sciences, the International Code Council, the National Fire Protection Association, and the American Society of Civil Engineers discussed work being done by the codes and standards community and how the codes and standards community can better support state and local officials faced with challenges of cost and risk perceptions.
As part of the effort, ASHRAE says it has committed to:
- Utilizing member research funding to support research related to resilience in buildings and building systems.
- Developing, maintaining, or revising standards to reduce building loads and their impact on utilities.
- Working with global partners to encourage adoption of changes to codes as soon as possible.
- Providing instructional and application tools for implementing improvements.
- Educating affected stakeholders.
ASHRAE has compiled a webpage of resources on resiliency, which can be found at www.ashrae.org/resiliency.