Resilience is the ability to adapt to changing conditions, and withstand, and rapidly recover from a challenging or unforeseen disruption.
Think of the concept like this:
- A resilient person is aware of themselves and their surroundings, and is always ready to think of a new way to tackle the problem at hand.
- A resilient plan helps a community or group gain a shared understanding of how to respond in the event of a disaster and the ensuing recovery.
- A resilient structure is built to withstand extreme, unexpected events and, if damaged, remain useful and be easily and quickly repaired.
Resilient structures don't just have solid bones, though. A structure must have a resilient design.
"Resilient design encompasses a wide range of measures including building design, infrastructure design, land-use planning, farming practices, and forestry," explains the Resilient Design Institute, a national nonprofit on a mission to create safer buildings and communities while leading us toward sustainability.
The EPDM Roof Association adds that for roofing in particular, a resilient and robust design translates to the ability to resist extreme weather events, climate change, or even change in building use.
Achieving this goal requires a roof to have:
- Redundancy in the form of a backup and/or waterproofing layer
- Excellent wind uplift resistance
- Easy repairability with common tools and readily accessible materials
While resilience is typically discussed in the context of extreme natural events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, and earthquakes, it can also be seen as a protective measure against acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, or pandemics.
As a practice, resilience is essential for structural longevity and our collective, communal success.