The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) states that “we must enhance our resilience—which includes the ability to withstand and recover rapidly from deliberate attacks, accidents, natural disasters, as well as unconventional stresses, shocks and threats to our economy and democratic system.”
The US Department of Education’s 2012-13 Condition of America’s Public School Facilities report first released in March of 2014 stated that the percent of all public schools with permanent buildings rating the condition of building systems/features as Fair or Poor totaled 25% for roofs, 14% for framing, floors and foundations, 18% for exterior walls and finishes, and 32% for windows and doors. The condition of these components of the building envelope (designed to protect the occupants of facilities) all contribute to facility resilience.
The DHS’s definition of resilience underscores the importance of our nation’s schools adopting the strategy of providing resilient facilities. The ED’s report quantifies what has to be done at a minimum to provide resilient facilities. It is a virtual certainty that total facility replacement would result in a dramatic increase in what would be considered resilient public school facilities. However, if total replacement is not possible, upgrades to existing buildings can help in the process of moving America’s education facilities toward being more resilient facilities.
These upgrades to existing facilities can include:
- Replacing existing windows with units that resist damage from flying debris
- Replacing older roof systems with more resistant and durable roof systems
- Relocating HVAC systems from the roof-top to the ground - lowering the probability of HVAC units becoming flying hazards during high-wind events such as tornadoes and hurricanes.
Having facility resilience audits conducted and then implementing the recommended strategies is beneficial for more than just schools, as healthcare and industrial facilities are just as susceptible to natural disasters. Signing up for Standard’s roof and building maintenance program can help ensure your facility is as resilient as possible as well as identifying potential facility weaknesses before they become problems.
For information about Standard’s roof and building envelope maintenance program, contact Pete Taylor at email@example.com.