Posted by Heidi Schwartz For the first time, leaders of America’s design and construction industry, along with building owners and operators, have agreed to promote resilience in planning, building materials, design, construction, and operational techniques as the solution to making the nation’s aging infrastructure more safe and secure. In conjunction with Building Safety Month, chief executive officers (CEOs) of almost two-dozen leading design and construction industry associations—with a combined membership of more than 750,000 professionals who are responsible for generating almost $1 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP)—issued a joint statement on resilience. The Alliance for a Resilient Tomorrow unveiled its statement at a press conference at the National Building Museum, where a major exhibition, Designing for Disaster, presenting design and building solutions for disaster mitigation, opened on May 11. “We recognize that natural and manmade hazards pose an increasing threat to the safety of the public and the vitality of our nation,” reads the statement, in part. “We further recognize that contemporary planning, building materials, design, construction and operational techniques can make our communities more resilient to these threats.” The CEOs committed their design and construction sector organizations to significantly improve the resilience of the nation’s entire built environment through research into new materials, construction procedures, and other methods to improve the standard of practice. Among other things, they also committed the industry to educating itself through continuous learning; to advocating for effective land use policies; to responding to disasters alongside first responders; and to planning for future events, with a strategy for fast recovery. “The building industry has a responsibility to assure that the facilities we design, construct, operate, and maintain protect the health, safety and welfare of our nation’s citizens,” said National Institute of Building Sciences President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA. “The concept of resilience is not new. Yet, the world is seeing increasing numbers of hazardous events. For the first time as an industry, we have all come together to formally recognize our role in addressing this increasingly urgent challenge. It is vital to our nation’s communities that we all refocus our efforts to address this new paradigm.” The list of organizations signing onto the joint statement on resilience includes: American Council of Engineering Companies American Institute of Architects American Planning Association American Society of Civil Engineers American Society of Interior Designers American Society of Landscape Architects American Society of Plumbing Engineers ASHRAE Associated Builders and Contractors Associated General Contractors of America Building Owners and Managers Association International Code Council International Facility Management Association International Interior Design Association Lean Construction Institute National Association of Home Builders National Institute of Building Sciences National Society of Professional Engineers Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Urban Land Institute U.S. Green Building Council The National Institute of Building Sciences and its co-signers urge all building industry organizations, and all Americans, to make a commitment to improved resilience.
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