ERA Leadership Participates in White House Conference on Resilient Buildings
Earlier this month, ERA leadership was represented at the White House Conference on Resilient Building Codes. Once again, the Conference was a reminder that EPDM membranes deliver superior performance in this new environment that values energy-efficiency, sustainability and – now, more than ever, resilience.
The Conference consisted of a series of panels made up of experts developing a national strategy to enhance the resilience of the built environment. There was agreement that resilience has no one definition but essentially allows “a building or community to recover or bounce back from a natural weather event.” The topics ranged from incorporating resilience into the built environment to implementing resilient building codes. Sponsored by the White House National Security Council as well as the National Institute for Building Sciences, the overall tenor of the meeting was that the building stock and infrastructure in United States are old and woefully unprepared for what climatic changes will occur in the years ahead.
While the participants ranged from professors of civil engineering to home builders to mayors of towns that have been decimated by serious weather events, the conclusions drawn were that engineering has to be more focused on risk management, and historical weather patterns don’t matter now. In short, “the past is not a reliable map for the future building code practitioners”
From ERA’s perspective, the conversation was both alarming as to the magnitude of the problem and reassuring in the sense that the panelists believe that our codes, standards, and overall engineering ingenuity and products can help us accommodate the change in climate patterns. It was also most gratifying to hear both the civil engineers and the mayors of the towns that were commenting agreed that energy efficiency needs to be incorporated into any strategy to create a more resilient building stock.
There is no question that the topic will continue to be addressed by multiple disciplines and policy makers in the months and years to come. It is in interest of the built environment, and the people who own and occupy commercial buildings, that manufacturers of EPDM are part of the planning. Our products offer the resilience that is needed to withstand current and foreseen climactic extremes.