Building Resiliency

7 Nov

Happy November folks and welcome to our month themed on Home Improvements.  In past years we’ve blogged about ecological footprints, electronics, renovations, local decorating, small space living and more.

Check back to our 2010 and 2011 posts to catch up…

This year we’ll be further exploring small-space and self-sufficient living amongst other topics.  We wanted to start off by sharing a new trend on green building that we learned from and is based on Steve Mouzon’s principles of Original Green – Sustainability is more than gizmo green.  He writes that sustainable places are:

  1. Nourishable
  2. Accessible
  3. Serviceable
  4. Securable

Sustainable buildings are:

  1. Loveable
  2. Durable
  3. Flexible
  4. Frugal

Building Green Is No Longer Enough, It is Time To Build Resilient

by Lloyd Alter (Green architecture designer)

Green living has often been about technology; about smart grids and hybrid cars and solar panels. But it is also about simplicity and low tech, about walkable communities and bicycles. I go on about learning from old buildings designed before the age of oil and electricity, so that we will know how to live after the oil is gone. One feature I often talk about is how our walkable communities and older buildings are resilient; they can cope better when the power goes out, and you can walk to the store when the car is out of gas.

Resiliency is the key to sustainability

…the resilience movement is growing, as is the dissatisfaction with the high tech green gizmo approach to sustainable design. You see it in houses with the Passivhaus movement, where one trades active systems for insulation and sunlight; you see it in the streets with the cycling phenomenon. It is a conscious choice to use simpler, repairable, resilient systems.

But what is resilient design, really? Here are 8 design principles from Craig Applegath a Resilient City. :

1. Use low carbon-input materials and systems
2. Design and plan buildings for low external energy inputs for ongoing building operations
3. Design buildings for maximum day-lighting
4. Design “generic buildings” for future flexibility of use
5. Design for Durability and Robustness
6. Design for use of local materials and products
7. Design and plan for low energy input constructability
8. Design for use of building systems that can be serviced and maintained with local materials, parts and labour

Check out the full blog post at

What have you done to make your living spaces more resilient? Leave us a comment!


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