Resilient design is most commonly associated with disaster prone areas where buildings are designed to withstand severe storms, flooding, wildfire, and other environmental impacts brought about by natural causes, climate change, or infrastructure failures. The Resilient Design Institute defines Resilient Design as the “intentional design of buildings, landscapes, communities, and regions in response to these vulnerabilities”.MAAD, a Colorado based design consultancy company, sees Resilient Design as a smart strategy and a practical yet encompassing design approach for the 21st century rapidly changing environment and unpredictable climate. “Resilient buildings are honest, unembellished, unpretentious. They stand naked and exposed, in a way, bold and completely at ease in their surroundings.” according to Marc Gerritsen, partner and principal designer of MAAD. “More than focusing on sustainability and minimizing our impact on the environment, resilient design assimilates and works in partnership with its surrounding to enhance the building performance and durability. Resilient buildings, by definition, are sustainable, green/eco-friendly, and well-designed. They are also cost- effective, efficient, and secure investments.”Resilient design also places high priority on the well-being of its occupants. The recent emergence of “Well Design” standards have increased our awareness on the impact of design on our health. Resilient design takes this a step further. “Our well-being is encoded in our DNA and we are inherently resilient”, adds Adria W Lake, partner and managing director of MAAD. “but our dependence on modern comforts and desire to control our environment have weakened our immune systems, robbed us of a good night sleep, and frankly, made us fat and lazy”. Resilient design’s principles of self-reliance, passive systems, durability, and collaboration with nature require its occupants to be in-tuned and engaged with their environment.“We are not built for constant comfort and homeostasis. When we expose ourselves to varying conditions and live in spaces that connect us to rather than insulate us from our surroundings, we feel better, stronger, and happier,” Adria continues, “and that is the very definition of being well”.
August 25, 2017