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Friday, February 18, 2005

MANAGING THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT: HILLSIDE MANAGEMENT AWARENESS

MANAGING THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT: HILLSIDE MANAGEMENT AWARENESS

Fortunately, awareness of such issues has increased in the past years. For example, the National Institute of Building Sciences writes in “Resist Natural Hazards, by the WBDG Safe Committee”, http://www.wbdg.org/design/resist_hazards.php :

Buildings in any geographic location are subject to a wide variety of natural phenomena such as windstorms, floods and landslides, earthquakes, and other hazards. While the occurrence of these events cannot be precisely predicted, their impacts are well understood and can be managed effectively through a comprehensive program of hazard mitigation planning. Mitigation refers to measures that can reduce or eliminate the vulnerability of the built environment to hazards, whether natural or man-made.

Only after the overall risk is fully understood should mitigation measures be identified, prioritized, and implemented. Basic principles underlying this process include:

The impacts of natural hazards and the costs of the disasters they cause will be reduced whether mitigation measures are implemented pre-disaster (preventively) or post-disaster (correctively). Proactively integrating mitigation measures into new construction is always more economically feasible than retrofitting existing structures. (…)

All mitigation is local. Most mitigation measures, whether structural or regulatory, fall under the jurisdiction of local government. Additionally, mitigation initiatives are most effective when they involve the full participation of local stakeholders.

In http://www.wbdg.org/design/balancing_objectives.php?r=resist_hazards they add:

Synergies:

Erosion Control Measures: The erosion of soil caused by precipitation or wind can lead to destruction of vegetation, degradation of property, and sedimentation of local water bodies as well as unstable building foundations and potential loss of structural integrity. Erosion control measures can be implemented to stabilize the soil (e.g., seeding and mulching, installing pervious paving) and/or to retain sediment after erosion had occurred (e.g., earth dikes and sediment basins). These help to reduce the negative impacts on water and air quality as well as mitigate potential damage to a building's foundation and structural system due to floods, mudslides, torrential rainstorms, and other natural hazards.

Landscaping: Keeping sustainability and safety goals in mind, designers can create landscaping schemes that can at once reduce environmental impacts and deter crime. For example, landscaping elements such as retention ponds and berms can be used to control erosion, manage storm water, and reduce heat islands while also serving as physical barriers to control access to a building and to deflect the effects of a blast. Native or climate tolerant trees can help to improve the quality of the site as well as provide protection by obscuring assets and people.

In fact, they even call for sustainability and advocate “an integrated, synergistic approach that considers all phases of the facility life cycle.

This "sustainable" approach supports an increased commitment to environmental stewardship and conservation, and results in an optimal balance of cost, environmental, societal, and human benefits while meeting the mission and function of the intended facility or infrastructure.” See http://www.wbdg.org/design/sustainable.php .
For more information: mailto:hillmanagement@savegaia.com

© 2005 NOSEPRAS Foundation & SORAS Trust. All rights reserved worldwide.

1 Comments:

At March 19, 2008 at 11:52 AM, Blogger Paz said...

People should learn more about energy alternatives like electric cars. The new ones coming out are way better than gas cars. One of the main electric car companies, Zap, has delivered more than 100,000 electric vehicles (source: www.zapworld.com). EV’s cost 1 to 3 cents per mile to run, compare that to regular cars!

 

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