EMPA September Meeting with Boston Resilient Design on 9/18/2017

By Julie Salvatoriello, Emerging Professional MA committee on 9/25/2017

The EPMA met on the third Monday of September for their monthly committee meeting. With Greenbuild just one more month away and the end of the year approaching fast, agenda items centered around networking opportunities, expo volunteer opportunities and holiday parties (and how the BMC rooftop garden tour at the Boston Medical Center had been sold out for weeks!).

Pictured Above: EPMA Committee Meeting Feature Presentation

 

The meet up landed mere days after hurricane Harvey hit the U.S. mainland. John Gravelin, Project Manager at Linnean Solutions, kicked off his presentation on “Resilient Design in Boston: Responding and Adapting to Climate Change” with an image of three new hurricanes. Katia, Irma, and Jose were all pictured together with the remnants of Harvey still visible in the satellite imaging. In his presentation, Gravelin described resilient design as preparing “buildings, cities and communities to respond to and adapt to the hazards of climate change.” The image of almost 4 hurricanes at once emphasized the real importance and necessity of intelligent resilient design.

One of the more poignant points Gravelin makes is how much of current resilient design applications that are found today are more focused on protecting buildings and infrastructure, and not, to his dismay, focused so much on the health and lives of people. Resilient design has a few uphill battles to climb, including the necessity for areas outside of flood zones to still have a resiliency plan as so many flood zones don’t take climate change into account or are based on models that just aren’t accurate enough. Even the focus on flood damage ignores that the type of disruption that causes the most deaths are heatwaves, which affects all infrastructure.

Gravelin emphasized the need for all communities to have resiliency plans and support services, and for those services to including supporting community gathering places and organizations. He emphasized that communities supporting each other have been found to be a perfect place to begin a resiliency strategy. It was a good reminder that, though we were brought to the meet up by green building, it’s people that we design and build for.

Join us next month for our October EPMA meeting on Monday, October 16th at 6pm for updates on our upcoming events, a feature presentation provided by Andrew Breiter-Wu and, of course, snacks!

 

 

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