SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Craig Ferril, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman, Ava Smith

News Feed Item

Building Experts and Government Officials Will Discuss Opportunities for Mitigating Natural Disasters through Design and Construction at ENR Conference on March 2-3 in Washington, D.C.

NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Although natural disasters can be unpredictable and devastating, there are concrete steps communities, governments and the construction industry can take to reduce future human and financial loss. One of these opportunities, offers Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer, is to strengthen the partnership between the Federal government and local communities. "With the majority of Americans at risk for some type of natural hazard," says Blumenauer, "planning for and mitigating against disasters should be a key focus for policymakers at all levels of government. If we are strategic about how and where we build, hazardous events don't have to be devastating disasters." Blumenauer is a keynote speaker at Engineering News-Record's (ENR) upcoming Mitigating Disaster through Design & Construction conference, taking place March 2-3 in Washington, D.C.

At the conference, many distinguished speakers will share insights on the latest policies, practices and strategies that aim to make a real difference before the next disaster. One of those speakers, Julie Rochman, CEO and president, Institute for Business & Home Safety, commends the "organizations and thought leaders focused on the critical issue of built environment durability. Everyone wins when the design and construction of structures are improved to include resistance to natural hazards," she says. "The tangible results include more resilient communities, lives saved, jobs preserved and created, and lower disaster response and recovery costs for the public and private sectors."

This past decade, U.S. insured catastrophic losses totaled $139 billion, a 56% increase over the 1990s amount of $89 billion, according to the Designing for Disaster white paper published by the National Building Museum, an event partner together with McGraw-Hill Construction/ENR and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Hurricane Katrina alone resulted in $45.3 billion in insured losses.

"After every major U.S. hurricane, we are shown spectacular images of collapsed buildings," says Spencer Rogers, coastal construction and erosion specialist, North Carolina Sea Grant Program, who will speak on a panel about building codes. "Although it is important that we learn from those failures, it is equally important that we pay attention to the buildings that you do not see, often just outside the picture, which survived the same conditions with minimal damage."

American Planning Association researcher James Schwab, who is also speaking on the building codes panel, offers, "For regions that share common hazards, it is definitely beneficial to standardize battle-tested, disaster-resistant building codes. At the same time, both mitigation and disaster recovery involve a number of complex questions that are often specific to particular areas and environmental circumstances. We cannot 'cookie-cutter' our way into resilience; rather, we need to build the capacity in local government to properly assess the hazards that exist--and then act on those findings."

For communities devastated by natural disasters, it can be challenging to find the opportunities amidst the crisis. Conference attendees will also hear from experts such as M. John Plodinec of the Community & Regional Resilience Institute, who encourages people to build back better. "Unfortunately, there are many barriers to doing this well," he says. "We need to begin to break these barriers down, or at least begin to build the legal ladders to climb over them." Plodinec's fellow panelist Joan Woodward, EVP for public policy at Travelers, agrees. "By facilitating discussions among policymakers and industry leaders, we aim to raise awareness of better building practices," she says. "We encourage owners, builders and building officials to adopt disaster resistant standards."

Looking toward the future, Najib Abboud, principal and chief technology officer at Weidlinger Associates, sees technology as an essential tool for the construction industry. "We must use technology to better assess and extend the life of our existing infrastructure, rather than hope for its wholesale replacement," he says. "Engineers design structures for hazards as they know them today. But the reality is that our hazard landscape is dynamic--the climate is warming, sea levels are rising, security threats are morphing, etc.--all while our critical infrastructure is aging beyond its intended design life."

For more insights, register for the conference at http://construction.com/events/2011/mitigatingdisaster. Discounts are available to AIA, APA, ASCE, CARRI, ICC, NBM, NIBS, SMPS and USGBC members. To request a press pass, call 1-800-371-3238. The event qualifies for 6.5 professional development hours.

Mitigating Disaster is produced by Engineering News-Record, the construction industry's leading provider of multimedia news and analysis. Event partners include the American Society of Civil Engineers and the National Building Museum. The silver sponsor is Bentley. Supporting sponsors include the American Institute of Architects, American Planning Association, Architectural Engineering Institute, Community & Regional Resilience Institute, Construction Institute, International Code Council, National Institute of Building Sciences, Society for Marketing Professional Services, U.S. Green Building Council and the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

About McGraw-Hill Construction:

McGraw-Hill Construction connects people, projects and products across the construction industry. For more than a century, it has remained North America's leading provider of project and product information, plans and specifications, and industry news, trends and forecasts. McGraw-Hill Construction serves more than one million customers in the global construction industry through Dodge, Sweets, Architectural Record, Engineering News-Record, GreenSource, and SNAP. To learn more, visit www.construction.com or follow @mhconstruction on Twitter.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies:

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the knowledge economy. Leading brands include Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees with more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2010 were $6.2 billion. Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.

SOURCE McGraw-Hill Construction

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
We are all here because we are sold on the transformative promise of The Cloud. But what good is all of this ephemeral, on-demand infrastructure if your usage doesn't actually improve the agility and speed of your business? How must Operations adapt in order to avoid stifling your Cloud initiative? In his session at DevOps Summit, Damon Edwards, co-founder and managing partner of the DTO Solutions, will highlight the successful organizational, process, and tooling patterns of high-performing c...
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from ha...
Software-driven innovation is becoming a primary approach to how businesses create and deliver new value to customers. A survey of 400 business and IT executives by the IBM Institute for Business Value showed businesses that are more effective at software delivery are also more profitable than their peers nearly 70 percent of the time (1). DevOps provides a way for businesses to remain competitive, applying lean and agile principles to software development to speed the delivery of software that ...
Docker offers a new, lightweight approach to application portability. Applications are shipped using a common container format and managed with a high-level API. Their processes run within isolated namespaces that abstract the operating environment independently of the distribution, versions, network setup, and other details of this environment. This "containerization" has often been nicknamed "the new virtualization." But containers are more than lightweight virtual machines. Beyond their small...
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's

An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...