Using resilient construction techniques in regions prone to extreme weather events is worth the expense, according to a new study from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The study, “A BreakEven Hazard Mitigation Metric,” says initial investment in mitigation is the key to a sound structure. An initial hazard mitigation investment of $340,000 on a $10 million building would pay for itself over the lifetime of the structure by mitigating storm damage, the study says.
“Too much emphasis is placed on minimizing initial building costs and not enough attention is paid to the high costs of rebuilding after a storm,” said Jeremy Gregory, executive director of the Concrete Sustainability Hub at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at a roundtable event in Florida. “We need elected officials to take a more long-term and sustainable view by supporting resilient building efforts.”
State lawmakers, officials, and members of the building and code communities discussed the issue at the recently held roundtable in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. The storm caused an estimated $606 million in damages.