Resiliency in the built environment is a trend we’re only going to hear more about in the coming years. And, for good reason. Our infrastructure’s ability to recover quickly from fire, flood, extreme weather, and other catastrophic events is becoming more and more important in our changing world.
Planning with resilient design in mind is core to preparing for future risks; it helps communities and businesses adapt and recover after a catastrophic event. Recovery is critical for vital infrastructure such as hospitals and utilities; it’s also an important consideration for businesses to ensure they can either maintain or resume operations quickly to mitigate losses and impact on the community and economy.
Adding to the human safety and social rationale for planning more resilient communities, there is a financial imperative for building owners. With all of the available information about extreme events, such as climate change, ignorance about its potential impacts may not be considered a reasonable response to related claims. Further, the cost of financing new developments may become considerably more expensive where resiliency has not been adequately addressed. Just ‘meeting the building codes’ is no longer sufficient.
Cities are taking note and looking at proactive measures to improve resilience in their infrastructure. Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, and Montreal are paving the way in Canada by taking part in 100 Resilient Cities; a network dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to physical, social and economic challenges.
On June 2, 2016, nearly 150 members of Toronto’s real estate, design and construction community gathered in downtown Toronto at Entuitive’s annual client event, City Vision 2016. Alec Hay, a Principal with Southern Harbour, spoke to the audience about the business case for resilient design, specifically from the initial outset of a project. His presentation reinforced the importance of building owners, architects, engineers, builders and governments to understand the consequences of ignoring resilience in the planning process.
Key take-aways from the presentation included:
- Climate change is a catalyst, exposing inherent risks in our infrastructure.
- Codes of practice, which were designed to address historic risks, are no longer adequate in a changing world.
- We cannot rely on insurance to address our total risk. Measures need to be taken to mitigate foreseeable risks, especially when you consider that insurance may only represent 20% of a business’ total exposure.
- A business’ property may be essential to its recovery after an event. Addressing the foreseeable catastrophic events – and yes, they are foreseeable – and planning for them accordingly is the best way ensure business continuity.
- Resilience planning builds confidence for lenders and investors, ultimately supporting a business’ ability to seek financing. Investment in resilience planning can, therefore, provide a substantial business benefit.
Urban Toronto was on hand to hear about the increasing need for resiliency in a growing city. Read the story here.
The evening was an opportunity to celebrate our diverse clients and stimulate discussion on how we can design and build better performing buildings. Thank you to our great clients who engage Entuitive to collaborate on amazing projects across Canada and internationally and have contributed to our success. With over 145 staff (and growing) in four offices across Canada, we’re excited about what’s ahead.
More: Daily Commercial News on how Toronto is poised to lead in resilient design
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Check out some photos from the event below.
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Director, Business Development and Marketing