SustainabilityENews Vol 9 #18 Disaster Response

The Masonry Society

Sustainability E-News

Responding to Disaster

September 30, 2017                                    

Volume 9, Number 18


From the Editor

The recent hurricanes and earthquakes experienced in the United States and Mexico are a reminder that much of our construction remains vulnerable to natural disasters. However, it is encouraging to see the efforts to design new construction and renovate existing construction to better withstand these challenges. The U.S. Resilience Council recently recognized their first rated building with a Platinum rating. While this rating evaluated only seismic resiliency, they have plans to add rating systems for wind, floods, and blasts. An important aspect of resilient design is using materials in a way that provides durability, redundancy, and multiple benefits - all areas where masonry excels. So whether it is incorporating permeable masonry pavements in your next design to reduce stormwater runoff, or using structural loadbearing masonry that combines structure and finish in one material, I encourage you to think of ways you can create more resilient designs!


Christine "Tina" Subasic, PE, LEED AP


NOTE: Inclusion in this newsletter is not an endorsement of the products and materials featured, nor have these products been evaluated by TMS or the editor. Furthermore, the views expressed in the articles featured are those of the article authors.



The devastation wrought by the recent flooding in Texas and Florida challenges our current ways of building. While changes to the building code in Florida after Hurricane Andrew helped to minimize wind damage, flooding has not gotten much attention in the past. As the article below points out, it is time to consider the effects of flooding in our building practices. One way to address flooding issues is to introduce more permeable pavements in lieu of impervious areas. Masonry permeable paving systems provide an attractive, effective alternative to poured concrete and asphalt. ~Tina


Rethinking Land Use a Must After Devastating Hurricanes


After a Category 4 hurricane devastated Galveston, Texas, in 1900, the city was rebuilt to make it more resistant to hurricanes, and the city "provides an example of how disasters move policy, perhaps more quickly than anything else." Yet the city had a population of only 37,000 at the time, highlighting how difficult it will be for land planners to try and make giant cities like Houston and Miami more able to withstand nature's wrath. Read more of this article.



The links below feature two rating systems that are alternatives to LEED: Green Globes, which is a whole building rating system, and the new resiliency rating system that evaluates seismic resiliency. ~Tina


Green Globes to be Approved in Maryland


Recently the Maryland Green Building Council voted unanimously to recommend that Green Globes, at the two Green Globes level, be approved by the Maryland Secretaries of Budget and Management and General Services as a "high performance building" as defined in Maryland law. This move officially adds Green Globes as an approved rating system along with LEED. Read more here.


U.S. Resiliency Council Rates Its First Building

A structure owned by the City of Roseville, California, is the first building to be rated by the nascent U.S. Resiliency Council (USRC), a nonprofit organization formed by structural engineers to make it clearer to occupants and owners how a building can be expected to perform in a disaster. The $22-million building has received a platinum rating, the highest offered by the USRC, which hopes to do for resilient design what the U.S. Green Building Council has done for sustainable design through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Read the summary here or read more in this article (purchase required or free for ASCE members). 



TMS Annual Meeting Registration Open


The Masonry Society will hold its 2017 Annual Meeting and 40th Anniversary celebration in beautiful La Jolla, California on November 3 - 7. The Masonry Society's Annual Meeting is filled with educational opportunities in addition to our Committee (Business) Meetings, Member/Guest Reception, Awards Luncheon, and social events. The General Sessions on November 4, 2017 and pre-conference seminars provide informative background on a variety of design, construction, and evaluation topics related to masonry. Certificates of Continuing Education are available. Click here for more information.


Symposium on Building Science and the Physics of Building Enclosure Performance


To be held October 21, 2018 in Washington, DC, this symposium will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas on current research, both nationally and internationally, regarding building science and the physics of building enclosure performance, with an emphasis on testing and assessment of heat/air/moisture transfer, energy use, and the environment. It will also explore the growing influence of building science on material selection and detailing in both new construction and the adaptive re-use of existing buildings. For more information on the objectives and abstract submission please visit:             

To Subscribe, click here.

To be a 201Sponsor, click here.


Advancing the Knowledge of Masonry


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