What does built environment research have to do with risk mitigation, resilience and disaster recovery?
Miller, Wendy F. (2015) What does built environment research have to do with risk mitigation, resilience and disaster recovery? Sustainable Cities and Society, 19, pp. 91-97.
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One could argue that the nature of our housing stock is a key determining factor in the ability of our citizens to manage risk, be resilient to various natural and human events, and to recover from these events. Recent research has been examining current challenges posed by our housing stock and exploring potential solutions from a range of perspectives. The aim of this paper is to discuss key findings from recent built environment research in Australia to initiate cross-sectorial discussion and debate about the implications and opportunities for other sectors such as emergency management and insurance.
Three recent building research projects are discussed:
- Heat waves
The impact of heat waves on houses and occupants, and proposed changes to building regulations, air conditioning standards and building design, to reduce risks associated with heat waves.
- Net zero energy homes
Exploration of the potential benefits of a strategic optimization of building quality, energy and water efficiency, and household or community level distributed energy and water services for disaster management and recovery.
- Building information
Mapping of the flow of information about residential buildings, and the potential for national or regional building files (in a similar manner to personal medical records) to assist all parties to make more informed decisions that impact on housing sustainability and community resilience.
The paper discusses how sustainability, environmental performance and resilience are inter-related, and can be supported by building files. It concludes with a call for increased cross-sectorial collaboration to explore opportunities for a whole-of-systems approach to our built environment that addresses a range of economic and environmental challenges as well as disaster and emergency management.
Impact and interest:
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