Creating a less brittle built environment
|NEWS: BRRT released for beta testing 6/9/13|
Australia has long been subject to property damaging extreme weather events.
Recent events such as floods, cyclones, storms and bushfires have reminded everyone that the built environment - our homes, businesses and infrastructure, whilst usually safe, are typically not designed to survive these events without very significant damage and economic loss. The pricing of insurance premiums in some high hazard regions, or for property that might be vulnerable, has begun to reflect losses over many decades driven by the failure to build with resilience to local hazards as a key outcome.
Encouraging built environment resilience to extreme weather requires a focus on building standards, appropriate land-use planning and effective hazard mitigation - to reduce the residual risks to a tolerable level.
Creating a resilient built environment is worth the effort. All parts of the community benefit from having buildings that can be relied upon to protect our families, contents, and business operations - without requiring repair and reinstatement following common events like hail, high winds, bushfires and heavy rainfall. Moving towards an environment where buildings, especially those in areas exposed to hazards, are able to withstand predictable events without significant damage, requires coordination between the insurance industry, the building industry, government and researchers.
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has established the Australian Resilience Taskforce as a forum to house and progress practical project driven activities, focussed on encouraging intelligent buildings that through design and material choice are resilient to local hazards.