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The goal of the Building Performance Knowledge Community (BPKC) is to promote architects as leaders in the application of technical design for building performance; in the use of high-performance design criteria, codes, and standards; and in programming, designing and managing building performance. To advance, disseminate, and advocate—to the architecture profession, AIA members, building owners, the construction industry, the academy, and the public—design practices that create buildings that are healthy, energy efficient, and durable.

  • 1.  Resilience and Reality

    Posted 12-11-2018 14:37
    Reality can be hard to ignore, no matter the mindset.  Each year we are facing less predictable and more extreme climatic conditions.  Whether it is 500-year storms happening every year, three foot deep blizzards in the US southeast, or near firestorms moving faster than a healthy adult can run, we are looking at an angrier and angrier planet.

    As architects our role has been to lead in making sense out of the interface between nature and human activity.  As that interface becomes more hazardous, we likely have no choice but to reassess the risks for our clients and to our practices.  A trash room fire is easily put out with one or two sprinklers and contained behind a fire door - easily predicted and addressed.  The wall of an all-incinerating fire storm is another matter entirely.  Few structures ever built can withstand a 1,400 degree fahrenheit firestorm.  Most sprinkler systems cannot even deliver water once more than a certain percentage of the heads have opened.  Passing a test for flammability using a red hot brand is meaningless when massive firestorms are the actual hazard.

    It is time to change our path.

    This article in Architect is worth a read if you missed it:

    Drake A. Wauters, AIA
    Building Performance At-Large Member
    Principal AEC Consultant
    McLean, Virginia