How Commercial Real Estate Mitigates Disasters
September 15, 2017 | Beth Glavosek | Blue Vault
Whenever a natural disaster strikes, investors in commercial properties may wonder how their assets are being managed and protected. According to the Whole Building Design Guide, a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences, “the most successful way to mitigate losses of life, property, and function is to design buildings that are disaster-resistant.”
Ideally, a building’s resistance to disaster should be incorporated into the project planning, design, and development at the earliest possible stage so that design and material decisions can be based on an integrated "whole building approach," according to the guide. Later in the building's life cycle, risks from natural hazards may be addressed when renovation projects and repairs of the existing structure occur.
The term ‘building resilience’ describes a commercial building’s ability to withstand the rigors of nature and possibly man-made stresses. According to the Building Owners and Managers Association International, “Resiliency begins with ensuring that newly constructed buildings, alterations, additions and major renovations to existing buildings are constructed in accordance with applicable modern building codes, with the design focusing on the adaptability of the building over its life cycle to evolve with changes occurring in both the built and natural environment. Proper planning and design can significantly reduce the amount of damage sustained during a disaster, which in turn will lead to shorter recovery periods, increase business continuity and expedite the community’s return to normal.”
In other words, investors in commercial properties can take heart in knowing that today’s best practices include continuous attention to upgrades and standards that will allow buildings to better withstand the challenges that may come along due to weather or other hazards.