The insistence on building resilient infrastructure has never been so pressing before.

Michael Lingerfelt, a board member of FLASH (Federal Alliance for Safe Homes), sold his house a few days before hurricane IRMA struck the shores in Orlando, FL. To quote the new owner, “It was like God put a bubble around our house”. Lingerfelt’s knowledge and implementation of advance guidelines for building construction helped increase the resiliency of this house.

The change in geological strata and global climate due to incessant urbanization has led to the frequent occurrence of natural calamities. In this unpredictable period, the demand for resilient construction has gained a sharp rise. The term resilient building has almost become a marketing tool in the US. Various state bodies are also incentivizing resilient building construction.

The RELi (Resiliency Action List), one of the pioneering standards for building construction, lists “Adaptive Design for Extreme Rain, Sea Rise, Storm Surge + Extreme Weather, Events + Hazards” at the top of the list. Some other features of resiliency include minimal material effectiveness through life cycle planning, erosion and sedimentation control, and eco-friendly construction. The construction plan of a resilient building should focus on reduced manual labor and minimizing the use of oil fuel using machines like cranes and payloaders.

To increase adaptivity to flooding, earthquake, land faults and excessive rain, we can use construction materials for repairing, from nearby region to facilitate quick supply. The life cycle planning should be included during design consideration. This can either be done through traditional maintenance plan to be followed at periodic intervals or using cloud-based analytics platform for monitoring.

We can embed sensors in concrete during the construction phase of the building. Embedded sensors can give an accurate measure of the physical conditions of the concrete and other materials at the core. The true analysis will reduce the risk of material damage while construction due to uninformed handling of them. Labor cost is also significantly reduced as most of the process is intelligently guided directly to the operator. Storing those data in a cloud and using an analytics platform to review them can be the foundation of a lifecycle monitoring platform.

Regular monitoring in real-time can really cover multiple aspects of the resilient building. The future owners will be able to significantly cut the costs of construction and be alerted on time. With the use of emerging innovative structural monitoring methods especially those using the EDC and the IoT technologies, a sense of true resiliency will be established throughout the urban habitats.