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Fundamentals of Resilient Design: Dry Floodproofing

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015

While implementing various measures to keep floodwater out of a building may seem like a no-brainer, there are actually some very significant limitations and risks.

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California’s Continuing Water Woes Call for Creative Solutions

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015

“Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing.” -Jay Famiglietti, Ph.D., NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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The business implications of sea-level rise along the Atlantic coast, and especially in Delaware

Posted by on Sep 27, 2014

I want us to envision an unfamiliar challenge together. I want us to think about the plans and investments we may need to make.

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Bigger, Longer Heat Storms Are Coming Soon: Will Your Building Keep Its Cool?

Posted by on May 30, 2013

Editor’s note: Tom Phillips and I have been corresponding about the risks of temperature extremes, and I invited him to put together an article on the topic so that others could benefit from his research. I am posting that here.  -Alex Wilson Floods and ice storms cause some the biggest economic losses in the US, but heat storms are the leading cause of death over the last 10 years among weather events in the US. Heat storms cause 1500 to 2000 deaths per year in the US. This number is projected to double or triple in the coming decades, and it will increase in a nonlinear fashion. The...

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Oak Park to Demonstrate Resilience With Smart Grid

Posted by on Jan 30, 2013

A recent story on Grist.org describes how the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois is embarking on a far-reaching program to demonstrate a resilient power grid using smart-grid technology. With support from the Korea Smart Grid Institute, which carried out a similar demonstration on Jeju Island off South Korea, and the International Institute for Sustainable Design, Oak Park will be installing solar-electric (PV) systems on houses and providing utility-interactive battery storage systems. When the utility company needs extra capacity, they will be able to switch the distributed rooftop PV...

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New York City’s (Lack of) Resilience

Posted by on Sep 11, 2012

There’s a great article in today’s New York Times, “New York is Lagging as Seas and Risks Rise.” In a nutshell, with 520 miles of shoreline, New York City is highly vulnerable to rising sea level and storm surges, and the City isn’t doing enough to address its vulnerabilities. The City is already working to expand protective wetlands, install green roofs to limit runoff, encourage property owners to elevate mechanical equipment, and elevate subway ventilation grates (see photo). I was actually involved in the City’s Green Codes Task Force a couple years ago to address such...

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