Sustainability

Resilient Building Design with Bautex Wall System

Resilient design pro­tects a build­ing and its occu­pants from high winds, flood­ing, and oth­er extreme weath­er events and nat­ur­al dis­as­ters. The resilient build­ing design con­cept has grown in recent decades in response to a rise in severe weath­er and nat­ur­al dis­as­ters occur­rences due to cli­mate change. The buildup of green­house gasses from the burn­ing of fos­sil fuels (gas and coal) has con­tributed to adverse impacts:: more acidic oceans due to increas­ing car­bon diox­ide lev­els, ris­ing sea lev­els due to increas­ing rates of glacial melt­ing, and more fre­quent and severe weath­er events. Secur­ing the integri­ty of a build­ing and the safe­ty of the occu­pants from severe weath­er and nat­ur­al dis­as­ter events dri­ves resilient build­ing design.

Builders and archi­tects under­stand that resilient design must take into account what hap­pens dur­ing and after a dis­as­ter. It is also vital that resilience design address both the acute and chron­ic events that are unique to a loca­tion. Acute events are sin­gle occur­rences like hur­ri­canes, tor­na­does, and earth­quakes. Chron­ic events are long-term changes like cli­mate changes and shift­ing weath­er pat­terns. Resilient build­ing design focus­es on the chron­ic and acute dis­as­ter events, spe­cif­ic to an area, for the pur­pose of ensur­ing a building’s integri­ty along with the imme­di­ate safe­ty and short-term sur­viv­abil­i­ty of the occu­pants.

Disaster Resilient Building Design

Dis­as­ter resilient build­ing design empha­sizes dura­bil­i­ty and strength. The build­ing should main­tain or regain its func­tion­al­i­ty when faced with a sig­nif­i­cant weath­er event or nat­ur­al dis­as­ter, like the dead­ly storm that ripped through the south­west in ear­ly May killing 13 peo­ple. Builders and archi­tects can turn to sev­er­al fed­er­al agen­cies for advice on dis­as­ter resilient build­ing design. The Fed­er­al Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (FEMA) pro­vides build­ing code advice on the haz­ard-resis­tant pro­vi­sions for earth­quake, flood, wind and hur­ri­cane and tor­na­do shel­ters. The Inter­na­tion­al Code Coun­cil (ICC) Fam­i­ly of Com­pa­nies rec­om­mends uti­liz­ing cur­rent Inter­na­tion­al Codes (I‑Codes) to cre­ate a cost effec­tive, dis­as­ter resilient build­ing.

The I‑Codes cov­er all aspects of con­struc­tion, includ­ing, but not lim­it­ed to:

  • The Inter­na­tion­al Build­ing Code (IBC) for exist­ing and new build­ings
  • The Inter­na­tion­al Res­i­den­tial Code (IRC) for new and exist­ing one- and two-fam­i­ly homes and town­hous­es no more than three sto­ries in height
  • The Inter­na­tion­al Prop­er­ty Main­te­nance Code (IPMC) address­es main­te­nance issues for con­tin­ued safe use of exist­ing build­ings
  • The Inter­na­tion­al Exist­ing Build­ing Code (IEBC) address­es alter­ation, repair, addi­tion, or change in occu­pan­cy of exist­ing struc­tures.

Resilient build­ing design uti­lizes strong and prop­er­ly imple­ment­ed nation­al build­ing codes for water, earth­quake, storm and fire resis­tance. Resilient build­ing design must also ensure the short-term sur­vival of occu­pants after a dis­as­ter that dis­rupts nor­mal life. After a dis­as­ter, a resilient build­ing should pro­vide trapped occu­pants ade­quate nat­ur­al light­ing, ven­ti­la­tion, heat­ing or cool­ing, water and acces­si­ble, safe escape lad­ders or hatch­es. Con­trac­tors, archi­tects, and build­ing own­ers can refer to the nation­al build­ing codes for guid­ance in con­struct­ing dis­as­ter resilient struc­tures.

Bautex Wall Assembly Fits the Standards for Resilient Building Design

  • Bau­tex Block Wall Assem­bly meets the FEMA 320 and FEMA 361 guide­lines in storm zones with pos­si­ble wind speeds up to 250 miles per hour. The Bau­tex Blocks also meet or exceed ICC-500 and FEMA stan­dards for debris impact.
  • Bau­tex Block Wall Assem­bly meets and exceed indus­try’s stan­dard for fire resis­tance. They have an ASTM E119 fire rat­ing of four-hours (twice the two-hour require­ment), and ASTM E84 report­ed val­ues for flame speed of zero and smoke devel­op­ment of twen­ty. In addi­tion the Bau­tex Blocks meet the E84 and NFPA 286 and there­fore meet the NFPA 101 code.

As severe weath­er events and nat­ur­al dis­as­ters increase resilient build­ing tech­niques are quick­ly becom­ing essen­tial. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, many tech­nolo­gies to achieve high­er resilien­cy can be more expen­sive than tra­di­tion­al build­ing tech­niques.. How­ev­er, a FEMA study done by the Nation­al Insti­tute of Build­ing Sci­ences’ Mul­ti­haz­ard Mit­i­ga­tion Coun­cil, shows that for every dol­lar spent on mit­i­ga­tion efforts, like adopt­ing cur­rent codes, post-dis­as­ter relief costs are reduced by four dol­lars. In the long run, resilient build­ing design is bet­ter finan­cial­ly, envi­ron­men­tal­ly, and for the safe­ty of the building’s occu­pants. Vis­it Bau­tex™ Wall Sys­tems for more infor­ma­tion on the ben­e­fits of insu­lat­ed con­crete blocks in resilient build­ing design.