How Are Sustainability and Resilience Linked?

An article in our June issue profiles a new VA hospital in New Orleans called Project Legacy. In addition to its LEED Silver certification, the hospital has implemented several strategies that make the building more resilient against floods like caused by Hurricane Katrina...or worse.

Indeed, sustainability and resilience are linked in many ways, but there are also a few ways they may be at odds (resource efficiency, as one example). For the July cover story of Building Operating Management, I'm working on a story on exactly this idea — where are sustainability complementary, and where may they not be? And if they're not, how do you evaluate the tradeoffs? 

What's your take? Where have you seen green and resilience reinforce each other? Where have you seen them conflict? 

2 Replies

  • Most "eco friendly" sustainable coatings sacrifice desirable qualities, they don't adhere as easily or well and most have relatively short lifespans compared to previous formulations.

    Similarly most "green" cleaning products have noticeable performance problems compared to their previous formulations. They rely more on elbow grease than chemical advantages.

    Most modern pest control agents are gentle on the environment, and at the same time not nearly as effective at controlling the target pests.

    Modern Herbicides have the same problem, better for the environment but not nearly as effective. More and more we're relying on manual labor because the chemicals we can use just aren't effective.

    That leads to other landscaping problems caused by sustainable practices. We can't use gasoline powered blowers in many cities and that makes landscaping work much more labor intensive. Some landscapers use generators and electric blowers to circumvent that rule, which completely defeats the intent and makes things worse than they were before the new rule.

    Lots of people in dry parts of the country have been ripping out landscaping and replacing it with concrete to save water. Great for their water bill but not good for the water table and a recipe for disaster as more and more of the water that once percolated into landscaping is channeled into city drainage systems that are not sized to handle all that extra runoff.

    Speaking of saving water, in lots of cities where water restrictions have prompted people to cut back the cities have lost thousands of street trees, which now need to be removed and replaced.

    I could go on an on.

    Scott Yollis, CFM
    Sr. Facilities Manager
    Green Dot Domestic and Foreign Offices
  • In reply to Scott Yollis:

    Completely agree with you, that sustainability and resilience are linked with each other.  People in most of the area have a lack of water and other natural resources.  Most of the rural area people are not aware about the water sanitation and hygiene. Thus to make them aware ONG shammesh organize the program where, such people are taught the moral values to make them aware about such things. You can learn more here about different programs arranged by the mission humanitiare.

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