Integrating Hazard Resistance and Sustainability

Check out Sarah's paper published this summer

Building design and performance are increasingly being scrutinised from perspectives of both sustainability and hazard resistance. However, the approaches taken to consider these perspectives are disconnected; green building rating systems do not consider hazard resistance in their assessments, while performance-based engineering methods have tended to neglect consideration of environmental impacts. This study presents a framework to assess a building’s life-cycle performance in terms of social, environmental and economic impacts using probabilistic approaches, considering the possible occurrence of an earthquake or other extreme event. The framework is illustrated through a case study of an office building in Los Angeles, designed with and without different types of vegetated (green) roofs, and at risk from varying earthquake hazard scenarios. The case study results demonstrate trade-offs between upfront building costs, material choices, hazard resistance and environmental impact.