CTBUH Seattle Fall Forum

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 | Seattle

SEATTLE – On October 10th,  CTBUH Seattle held its Fall Forum on the topic of Building Resiliency & Design Optimization. The event was hosted by Callison RTKL  in their office space overlooking downtown Seattle.

The first speaker was Steve Moddemeyer, Principal, CollinsWoerman, who led a discussion on the basic tenets of resiliency and its beneficial environmental factors. Moddemeyer framed the conversation around resistance, adaptation, and transformation of the built environment. He additionally discussed the resilient design performance standards for both infrastructure and dependent facilities, and showed how future projects north of Seattle are using these standards.

The next speaker was Donald Davies, CTBUH Advisory Board member and President of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, who focused his presentation first on the current weather calamities and how "short-term" thinking has led to substantial issues with infrastructure and the surrounding buildings, particularly in Houston during Hurricane Harvey.

Davies raised the question, “How can we change our thinking, shifting to solutions that take into account the ‘long term’ lifecycle of the building?” The majority of structures being designed and built today do not take into account full resiliency in preparation for major weather or seismic events, Davies emphasized.

"If you didn’t have a wake-up call yet as to what this means for our built environment of the future, this year should be it," he said.

In San Francisco, however, there have been large pushes to design and build according to resilient standards. Davies highlighted four different buildings, each having very different structures, volumes of concrete and steel, and overall costs. The carbon footprint of each building is vastly different, yet they each achieve the same level of resiliency.

As Davies closed the presentation, his message was, "Is resiliency free?"  The answer is certainly "no."  However, materials, structure, and longevity need to be taken into account, while also considering our carbon footprint, as adaptability and transformational designs are the future.

Scenes from the day