If we think of a resilient person, we imagine someone strong and adaptable – unflappable. A resilient building is the same: something designed to stand the test of time. It’s durable and flexible, appropriately designed to take into account internal
factors such as occupant impacts, durability, requirements for flexibility and accessibility, rapidly changing technologies and requirements of users, as well as external factors such as environment, climate, energy security, etc.
A resilient building is designed and built with an eye to the future. Doing what we did last time, or the time before, is no longer going to cut it. Design needs to be iterative. The future is looking less and less certain, so our designs can no longer afford to use the standard mould. A truly resilient building is durable, flexible and energy-autonomous.
We are starting to design resilient buildings, but the word is so dynamic and in such a state of flux that we may never truly hit the mark. Perhaps our best examples are those that are still around 200, 500 or more years later, and we are still using them.
Just asking “what if?” when undertaking a design is starting to talk about resilience.