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Benefits of Resilient Construction in Seismic Zones

Benefits of Resilient Construction in Seismic Zones

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Construction Specialties/US Resiliency Council Article Abstract 
Earthquakes cause significant disruption to communities, and the physical damage they leave behind can be extremely expensive. According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average cost of an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 or greater in developed nations worldwide is more than $12 billion. That figure jumps to almost $24 billion when looking at seismic events of magnitude 6.5 or greater. 
These figures include the cost of physical damage to structures and its associated repair only. They don’t even factor in lost revenue from the disruption of industries, businesses, communities, and, most importantly, people’s lives. The costs of damage and disruption are on the rise. More owners, architects, and engineers are focused on incorporating resilience in their designs to better manage and mitigate those risks and costs. 
Building codes are designed to be a guide for the bare minimum. Whether it’s codes for seismic, fire, or other stressors on a building, the primary goal is life safety and making sure occupants can exit the building safely. That is extremely important, but is it enough? 
What if communities looked beyond code and demanded a higher level of performance from buildings?  What if we asked our buildings to do more, and perform at levels that not only protect people in an earthquake or other event, but also allow structures to continue to function and serve occupants and the community afterward? Even in areas not necessarily prone to frequent earthquakes, an ounce of prevention can be worth several pounds of cure. 
Construction Specialties (CS), a global leader in expansion joint covers, interior wall protection, impact-resistant doors and frames, and other building resilience solutions, has partnered with the nonprofit US Resiliency Council (USRC) to foster and encourage construction that goes beyond code to achieve something stronger and greater.  
USRC’s vision is to work with building owners and industry professionals to address a multi-hazard approach, prioritizing mitigation of risks from events like earthquakes, wind, and floods to minimize impact on individuals, buildings, and communities. The USRC/CS partnership leverages industry experts, R&D resources, and product specialists from both groups to develop and encourage solutions that will result in a stronger, safer, more resilient built environment.  
Resilient buildings last longer, perform better, and offer owners and occupants significant operational and economic benefits over time. This article will discuss the long-term advantages and benefits of resilient design and highlight systems and solutions that can help owners and designers achieve their performance goals.   


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