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.