Workshops to emphasize importance of disaster-resilient construction

Each year in the United States, more than $35 billion in direct property loss is caused by natural disasters. As the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events increase, enhanced resilience for community continuity has become a high priority in cities throughout the nation.

Functionally resilient buildings place less demand on community resources and allow areas to provide vital services, even after a natural disaster. For example, resilient construction enables business to continue operations and provide a hard-hit community with a consistent tax base. Further economic, societal, and environmental benefits occur from reductions in resources that would need to be reallocated for emergency recovery.

PCA, in cooperation with Concrete Joint Sustainability Initiative (CJSI) partners, is conducting a series of workshops to communicate the trends and specific criteria used to design and construct homes and buildings to improve community continuity and resiliency. There are many strategies and approaches available for resilient community construction. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has identified the need for robustness, resourcefulness and recovery as the key elements of resilience. Many of the criteria for enhanced resilience are documented in standards, FEMA documents and voluntary programs such as the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety’s FORTIFIED programs.

These one-day workshops inform local decision makers, including builders, developers, architects, engineers, contractors, building officials and community leaders, on the importance of enhanced resiliency in construction and how it improves community continuity in the face of disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes and floods. Topics covered during the seminar include local disaster risk assessment and mitigation, resilient construction methods, FORTIFIED design and construction programs, building code requirements, safe rooms and storm shelters, flood resistant construction and fire resistance.

The remaining workshops are scheduled for: May 15, Pewaukee, Wis.; May 17, Louisville, Ky.; and May 30, Portsmouth, N.H. Attendees will receive six Professional Development Hours (PDHs), AIA-CES HSW Learning Units (LUs), or USGBC Continuing Education Hours (CEs). The registration fee is $95 and includes lunch. Additional details and registration information can be found at

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