Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Bart Copeland, Andreas Grabner, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White

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
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, will discuss why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices ra...
Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, had reached 30,000 page views on his home page - http://RobertoMedrano.SYS-CON.com/ - on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, and SOA World Magazine. He is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been ...
Companies today struggle to manage the types and volume of data their customers and employees generate and use every day. With billions of requests daily, operational consistency can be elusive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Dave McCrory, CTO at Basho Technologies, will explore how a distributed systems solution, such as NoSQL, can give organizations the consistency and availability necessary to succeed with on-demand data, offering high availability at massive scale.
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, de...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focu...
Security can create serious friction for DevOps processes. We've come up with an approach to alleviate the friction and provide security value to DevOps teams. In her session at DevOps Summit, Shannon Lietz, Senior Manager of DevSecOps at Intuit, will discuss how DevSecOps got started and how it has evolved. Shannon Lietz has over two decades of experience pursuing next generation security solutions. She is currently the DevSecOps Leader for Intuit where she is responsible for setting and driv...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes ...
Thanks to Docker, it becomes very easy to leverage containers to build, ship, and run any Linux application on any kind of infrastructure. Docker is particularly helpful for microservice architectures because their successful implementation relies on a fast, efficient deployment mechanism – which is precisely one of the features of Docker. Microservice architectures are therefore becoming more popular, and are increasingly seen as an interesting option even for smaller projects, instead of bein...
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, it is now feasible to create a rich desktop and tuned mobile experience with a single codebase, without compromising performance or usability.
SYS-CON Events announced today Arista Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Arista Networks was founded to deliver software-driven cloud networking solutions for large data center and computing environments. Arista’s award-winning 10/40/100GbE switches redefine scalability, robustness, and price-performance, with over 3,000 customers and more than three million cloud networking ports depl...
Application metrics, logs, and business KPIs are a goldmine. It’s easy to get started with the ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana) – you can see lots of people coming up with impressive dashboards, in less than a day, with no previous experience. Going from proof-of-concept to production tends to be a bit more difficult, unfortunately, and it tends to gobble up our attention, time, and money. In his session at DevOps Summit, Otis Gospodnetić, co-author of Lucene in Action and founder...
The speed of software changes in growing and large scale rapid-paced DevOps environments presents a challenge for continuous testing. Many organizations struggle to get this right. Practices that work for small scale continuous testing may not be sufficient as the requirements grow. In his session at DevOps Summit, Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect of DevOps continuous test solutions at Spirent Communications, will explain the best practices of continuous testing at high scale, which is r...
Software is eating the world. Companies that were not previously in the technology space now find themselves competing with Google and Amazon on speed of innovation. As the innovation cycle accelerates, companies must embrace rapid and constant change to both applications and their infrastructure, and find a way to deliver speed and agility of development without sacrificing reliability or efficiency of operations. In her Day 2 Keynote DevOps Summit, Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell, discussed...
NaviSite, Inc., a Time Warner Cable company, has opened a new enterprise-class data center located in Santa Clara, California. The new data center will enable NaviSite to meet growing demands for its enterprise-class Cloud and Managed Services from existing and new customers. This facility, which is owned by data center solution provider Digital Realty, will join NaviSite’s fabric of nine existing data centers across the U.S. and U.K., all of which are designed to provide a resilient, secure, hi...