Friday, August 16, 2019

Reference Update: The Whole Building Design Guide

The Whole Building Design Guide, an exhaustive reference for all things design and construction, is made possible by the National Institute of Building Sciences, and a wide range of Federal agencies and other organizations.  It includes a section on the parameters of Hazard Mitigation Planning that begins:

"Buildings in any geographic location are subject to a wide variety of natural phenomena such as windstorms, floods, earthquakes, and other hazards. While the occurrence of these incidents cannot be precisely predicted, their impacts are well understood and can be managed effectively through a comprehensive program of hazard mitigation planning.  Ongoing changes in climate patterns around the world may alter the behavior of hydro-meteorological phenomena within our lifetimes. The frequency and severity of floods, storms, droughts, and other weather-related disasters is expected to increase, as is the risk from associated changes in the manifestation of other hazards such as wildland fires."

The page includes definitions, descriptions and links to references about a wide range of hazards; and lays out a number of recommended best practices for planners, designers, building owners, communities and government leaders. A separate section adds a wealth of links to online resources on a variety of related topics, as well as building codes and standards. These links, in turn, provide connection to a seemingly limitless source of detailed information.  It is a highly recommended "must see" resource.

The page references a number of principles underlying the hazard mitigation process, paraphrased as follows:
  • Hazard mitigation is at the core of disaster resistance and supports achieving resilience.
  • Unsustainable development is one of the major factors in the rising costs of natural disasters.
  • Mitigation serves to help stop the cascading effects of hazards and their impact.
  • Concurrent or sequential multi-hazard events may result in a compounded impact.
  • Impacts from natural hazards can be reduced through preventive or corrective actions.
  • Proactive (preventive) mitigation measures are usually cheaper and more effective.
  • Risk reduction techniques must address as many applicable hazards as possible.
    High-performance buildings should exceed model building code requirements for disaster resistance.

No comments:

Post a Comment