Resilience is the ability of an individual, a system or a community to go through a traumatic or difficult event without it signifying a permanent transformation in their structure or way of being.

2020 has made us go through one of these traumatic episodes, showing our vulnerability and making human beings rethink many things we used to take for granted. Hygiene and health awareness reached its highest, and new opportunities arose to offer safety solutions.

Image from Yale E360

What impact will the coronavirus have on constructions in the long term? This pandemic has forced us to think about how we can prevent external aggressions in the future. Architects and professionals are working on resilient buildings that should be designed to withstand the impact of other external factors related to climate change such as rising sea levels, rising temperatures and why not, the development of future pandemics or sanitary crises. Designers no longer see climate change as a distant prospect, some are making buildings to withstand them.

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A competition held by Evolo Magazine showed several projects taking into account survival of the human being and a sustainable environment. The Egalitarian Nature skyscraper, imagines a new building typology driven by the human urge for nature instead of capital. Inside a high-density urban environment by rethinking the relationship between humans and nature, this skyscraper provides the opportunity for large green spaces within a small footprint.

Another example is the White Roofs Initiative – by replacing the dark colors of the roofs with white they can drop 2 or 3 degrees Celsius in the local area and this can help prevent deaths during heat waves and lower energy used by air conditioners. From primitive cave life, humans have a long history of protected or below-ground housing. Instead, most of the world’s buildings are on the surface, but some architects are rethinking this with new proposals for semi-underground structures that allow the house to remain intact in the face of hurricanes and other weather disasters. Other architects are creating floating buildings in coastal cities, so that in case sea level rise they are not threatened as they float and rise too.

Images from Waterstudio.NL

As climate change gets worse – how should we redefine construction in a world that will have higher extreme temperatures, heavy storms and floods? How can we generate environmental resilience strategies? How can we create spaces that help us preserve our health and feel safer?

Insight by Paula Lopez Lanhozo & Mercedes Giambastiani of TIPA.Insights

Cover Art by Andrea Reyes

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