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Future LEED might assess 'resilience'

Tue, 05/01/2012 - 12:14pm
Sometimes the most sustainable building is one you don't have to rebuild. Increasingly, the aftermath of earthquakes, major storms, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions is beginning to make building-sustainability experts consider adding points for "resilience" to the LEED sustainability rating tool. Keeping buildings operational after disasters is a major benefit, avoiding new investments in "embodied energy"—an issue inherent in any construction job, from cradle to grave. In addition, structures that don’t collapse are less likely to wreak environmental havoc through damage to surrounding infrastructure, such as sewage systems and gas lines. Though LEED thus far does not include a resilience category, one structure—the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building, a laboratory at the University of California-San Francisco, achieved an Innovation and Design point for its innovative base-isolation system. (The point was awarded not for the resilience concept but rather because the base system required considerably less materials than a conventional base.) Some pundits predict that a future iteration of the standard (though not the immediately pending one) is likely to recognize the resilience concept as a key sustainability issue. http://bit.ly/IeUvlH
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