Low-Carbon Resilience in Buildings: Must-read Resources from Understanding Risk 2020

Understanding Risk (UR) BC 2020 is an online, collaborative symposium and event series that fosters place-based risk reduction strategies to proactively enhance resilience and improve disaster recovery pathways in BC. On September 22, leading practitioners and researchers from across the region will gather for a Vancouver Economic Commission-moderated panel on “Low Carbon, Resilient Buildings: Lessons Learned and a Path Forward”, an explorative journey towards enhancing low-carbon resilience in new and existing buildings in BC.

This session invites engineers, architects, planners, developers, builders, code officials and anyone else with an interest in building resilience in Southwest BC to view and participate. After all, building stock (new and existing) represents a cornerstone of our society: it houses people/provides sheltering space; often represents a significant personal financial investment and is a source of financial equity; and provides community gathering spaces such as schools, libraries and hospitals, which are critical to everyday life – and even more so when hazardous events occur.

Enhancing our building stock, from the way we site, design, build and maintain, also represents a huge economic opportunity, as the Vancouver Economic Commission demonstrated in its 2019 Metro Vancouver Green Building Market Forecast. Accordingly, those with an interest in local economic development and building the green/restoration economy will also benefit from attending and contributing to this session.

During the course of the session, speakers will reference numerous initiatives, case studies, and theories from around the world for integrating decarbonization and resilience in the built environment. Key resources are listed below.

Integrating sustainability and resilience approaches in MURBs

Ilana Judah, AIA, OAQ, LEED AP BD+C, CPHC, Senior Architect and Master’s Student at University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability

  • New York City Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines — Guidelines for building industry professionals on how to use regionally-specific climate projections when designing New York City facilities
  • LEED Resilient Design Pilot Credits — Developed by the Resilient Design Institute, outlines pilot credits for the LEED rating system focusing on resilient, passive-first design
  • Ready to Respond Tools for Resilience — Developed by Enterprise Community Partners, shares multiple tools for affordable housing organizations to make their buildings resilient, prepare staff to handle emergencies, and ensure residents remain safe

Seismic resilience in tall buildings

Carlos Molina Hutt, Assistant Professor of Structural and Earthquake Engineering in the Civil Engineering Department at UBC

Institutional approaches to combining sustainability and resilience

Dale Mikkelsen, VP Development for the UniverCity Project at Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Burnaby Mountain campus

Being practical: looking to flood-resilient design and retrofits as a means to reduce risk

Tamsin Lyle, Principal and founding engineer of Ebbwater Consulting Inc

Portfolio-based resilience

Matt Strand, National Health and Safety Manager for QuadReal Property Group

Insights from the Session

In addition to the resources posted above, the session was graphically facilitated, producing the above overview and visual summary of the presentation and audience Q&A.  The graphical facilitator was Patricia Tiffany Angkiriwang, a local interdisciplinary researcher and designer who works with data and visual communication.

For more information about green building design and construction, click here.