If resilience in commercial buildings is going to become mainstream, architects, building owners, and developers need strategies to make their buildings more resilient at a variety of budgets. In Architect, Edward Keegan highlights resources and specific measures that architects can use to lead resilience planning for any building type. Mark Ginsberg, founding partner at New York–based Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, who has developed resilience strategies for New York City with the Citizens Housing and Planning Council post–Hurricane Sandy code committee, tells Keegan that it’s important for buildings to be able to function both offline and off grid.
“Allow people to weather [the storm or the fallout] in place,” Ginsberg tells Keegan. “You want them to be relatively comfortable.” Keegan adds, “Insulating the building above code requirements and providing a means for natural ventilation are among the common-sense tactics that can increase resiliency without significantly increasing the construction budget.”
Propane is also emerging as a key tool for resilient designers because it provides reliable, onsite, on-demand energy that is not vulnerable to grid outages. Propane backup generators can kick in to keep a business running when grid power goes down or work in tandem with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power to provide a hybrid package of onsite power generation. Plus, buildings that use propane for heating, water heating, and cooking require less backup power for those systems when the grid goes down. Ultimately, designing with propane systems is a way to make a project better able to cope with disruptive events without major cost increases.