In the face of many natural disasters and unforeseen circumstances, the term “resiliency” is of the utmost importance in the design world. As defined by the Resilient Design Institute, resilient design is “the intentional design of buildings, landscapes, communities, and regions in response to vulnerabilities to disaster and disruption of normal life.”

The basic principles of resilient design emphasize the need to plan for the long-term when designing buildings to withstand possible disasters as well as damage and wear over time. There are certain strategies that have been adopted to create buildings and communities that are more resilient in the face of a disaster. Some of these strategies include:

  • Installing HVAC systems on the roof of buildings instead of in the basements to address damage by potential flooding
  • Including wash out zones on the first floor of a building that are designed to have water flow through them during a major flood to reduce structural damage

In addition to these strategies, there are many other considerations that need to be taken into account to protect the inhabitants of a building. One of the most important aspects to acknowledge in resilient design is electricity. This can include allocating enough renewable energy sources to power life sustaining systems in hospitals or to power HVAC equipment to maintain internal temperatures in temperature sensitive spaces.

There is no blueprint for what exact scenarios may befall a building or community, however it is vital to think outside of the box and prepare for as many historical situations as possible in order to truly design a resilient space.


Watchdog Real Estate Project Management
Watchdog Real Estate Project Management is a real-estate consulting firm that provides owner’s representation and project management services. More about Watchdog Real Estate Project Management as well as additional blog posts can be found at
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