Welcome!

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
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The bedrock of Secure Channels Technology is a uniquely modified and enhanced process based on superencipherment. Superencipherment is the process of encrypting an already encrypted message one or more times, either using the same or a different algorithm.
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
While DevOps promises a better and tighter integration among an organization’s development and operation teams and transforms an application life cycle into a continual deployment, Chef and Azure together provides a speedy, cost-effective and highly scalable vehicle for realizing the business values of this transformation. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, a Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, will present a unique opportunity to witness how Chef and Azure work tog...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.