“Resilience” & What it Means to Material Producers

Posted on 8/11/2014 2:47:44 PM By Paul Bertram

Since the emergence of the “Green” building movement, trends in design have generated many new terms that need to be understood in context. Examples include: “Sustainability,” “Green,” “Adaptive Capacity,” “Regenerative” and “Resilience.”

Many in government, architectural, engineering, construction (AEC) sectors, including related building materials, might consider “Durability” the same as “resiliency.”  However, it has become a much broader topic of discussion.

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The Resilient Design Institute defines “Resilience” as: the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain or regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance.  It is the capacity to bounce back after a disturbance or interruption of some sort.

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Why Resilience is Important to Your Industry

Cities such as Boston, New York City, Miami and may others including local, state and federal agencies are developing strategies focused on “resilience.” The threats of climate change are significant from both manmade and natural impacts such as rising sea levels, powerful storms, and other chronic and extreme events.

The US Green Building Council and & University of Michigan put out a paper titled: Green Building & Climate Resistance that states: “Strategies to address resilience apply at scales of individual buildings, communities, and larger regional and ecosystem scales; they also apply at different time scales—from immediate to long-term.

Durability strengthens resilience. Strategies that increase durability enhance resilience. Durability involves not only building practices, but also building design, infrastructure, and ecosystems.”

Resilience at the National Institute of Building Science (NIBS)

Per their web site, mission of The Integrated Resilient Design Program from NIBS is to: “[Foster] innovative approaches to the design, construction and operation of buildings and infrastructures that are resilient to natural and man-made disasters.

Building team integration requires active collaboration among all of the members involved in the design process and incorporates the use of new materials and technologies. The end result produces buildings and infrastructures that are resilient, cost effective, resource efficient, durable and high-performing.”

Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate

Current Integrated Resilient Design Program projects are sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, whose High Performance Integrated Design Resilience (HPIDR) program develops tools and resources so users—owners, designers and others—can integrate resilience to reduce the impact of a disruptive event and the duration of its effects. More information about the DHS HPIDR program is available here

The High Performance and Integrated Design Program (HP&IDR) was created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) in 2009 to improve the security and resilience of our nation's buildings and infrastructure. The program's overall goal is to better prepare buildings and infrastructure to recover from manmade and natural disaster events such as explosive blasts; chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) agents; floods; hurricanes; earthquakes, and fires.

Key context considerations for “Resilience” as related to Sealants & Adhesives are:

  • Functional Performance
    • Limitations
    • Rated capacity
    • Characteristics and uses
    • Comparison with competitive products
  • Durability
    • Service Life
  • Code compliance/standards conformance
  • Energy Efficiency Envelopes
    • Air and moisture tight sealing
  • Resource efficiency
    • Off-Site manufacturing efficiencies, recyclable materials, recycled content
  • Reduction disruption
    • Fire performance
    • Seismic performance
    • Ballistic and Blast resistance
  • Reduced impacts of climate change
    • Floods, extreme temperature changes, emissions
  • Material compatibility
    • Interface compatibility with other products/systems
  • Long-term costs (Operational Life cycle costs)

All of these considerations are being addressed in various “Green” building certification programs, codes and sustainability planning.   As such, “Resilience” messaging and its implications are critical to master.

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