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ASHRAE joins building industry to promote resilient buildings

May 13, 2014
KEYWORDS ASHRAE
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ASHRAE is joining more than two dozen other design and construction industry associations in committing to promote resilient buildings.

The leadership of these industry associations used the occasion of “Building Safety Month” to issue a joint statement on resilience, which can be found here.

The statement was unveiled at a press conference at the National Building Museum, where a major exhibition titled “Designing for Disaster” opened May 11.

“We recognize that natural and man-made 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 leadership 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.

ASHRAE says it has been engaged in the area of resilience for a number of years. Its guidance includes ASHRAE Guideline 29-2009, “Guideline for the Risk Management of Public Health and Safety in Buildings;” the “Report of Presidential Ad Hoc Committee for Building Health and Safety under Extraordinary Incidents” developed after the events of Sept. 11, 2001; and guidance related to seismic restraint, including the “Practical Guide to Seismic Restraint, 2nd Edition” and ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 171-2008, “Method of Testing Seismic Restraint Devices for HVAC&R Equipment.”

“The built environment industry strives to design, construct, and operate buildings to withstand both natural disasters and man-made hazards,” said ASHRAE President Bill Bahnfleth. “We must use the knowledge gleaned from disasters like the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Superstorm Sandy, last year’s Oklahoma City tornado and others, as well as predictions of the effects of climate change, to our advantage to save lives and infrastructure in the future. ASHRAE is pleased to stand beside these other organizations in making this commitment to protect the public and building stock.”

Organizations joining ASHRAE in signing onto the joint statement on resilience include, the American Council of Engineering Companies, American Institute of Architects, Building Owners and Managers Association, International Code Council, National Association of Home Builders, the U.S. Green Building Council, and several more.

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