This was the key message delivered by Bill Larson, Chair of the Pacific Northwest Building Resilience Coalition to delegates attending the 30th Annual Summit of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) that took place in Big Sky Montana in August 2021.
As we emerge from the current pandemic we must build better resilient buildings and infrastructure that can better withstand the challenges of climate change as well as other adverse events resulting from natural processes of the Earth, he added.
“We must understand the place that buildings have in the community and be able to quantify the social, economic and environmental returns of resilient design to all stakeholder groups and expand carbon and environmental Life Cycle Assessments to consider the benefits of resilient design by eliminating unnecessary repair and replacement due to catastrophic events.”
Larson’s address was part of the Build Back Better Session of the Summit, which was sponsored by the Building Resilience Coalition as part of its ongoing relationship with PNWER, which ranks as one of the most successful models of multi-jurisdictional collaboration.
“The Future is not What it Used to be,“ noted Larson. And while the achievements we have in building our highways, railways, ports, multimodal systems, and pipelines to move people and commodities are staggering in their rights, they were based on assumptions about climate-related risks that may now be out of date.
To meet the challenges that lie before us, we will have to build differently, build better, and build with more attention to climate resiliency and rapid recovery from natural disasters. We are at the point where the future will determine what we build, where we build, how we build, and what we build with.
We must also shift from what is known as a linear economy (manufacture, use and dispose of), to a circular economy that promotes recycling, repurpose and reuse by deconstruction rather than demolition, by making better use of existing buildings and structures, designing new spaces in ways that eliminate waste, and reusing and recycling materials to achieve carbon neutrality of the built environment.
The full text of the presentation is available here.
You can watch the full Presentation here, or by clicking on the image below.