Lafarge sponsors disaster-resistant design exhibition

Lafarge North America is the lead sponsor for Designing for Disaster, part of a year-long National Building Museum exhibition spotlighting the evolving science of disaster mitigation, plus tools and strategies for building safer, stronger and more resilient communities.

Designing for Disaster is open until August 2 at the Washington, D.C. landmark. Through unique objects, captivating graphics and multimedia—including video testimonials—the exhibition will explore new solutions for, and historical responses to, a range of natural hazards including earthquakes, tornadoes, flooding and wildfires. A variety of exemplary disaster-resistant residential, commercial and institutional facilities, as well as public transportation systems, will be featured. Highlights also include a Federal Emergency Management Administration-specified safe room built to withstand tornado-force winds and a “wall of wind” that invites visitors to test various roof profiles against simulated hurricane-force winds.

“As a leading provider of sustainable, high-performance solutions for building better cities, Lafarge is committed to driving innovation and supporting collaborative dialogues on disaster-resistant design approaches for creating a safer, more durable and resilient built environment,” says Vice President of Marketing Maik Strecker, crediting the National Building Museum educational initiative with fostering “public awareness and understanding of engineering and construction strategies for protecting life and property against a wide range of natural hazards.”

To complement the exhibition, the museum and its partners have planned a full slate of public programming, topics spanning effects of hurricanes in urban areas; the Rebuild by Design project that hopes to revitalize the region affected by Hurricane Sandy; rising waters of the Chesapeake Bay; and, the importance of resilient landscapes. —

Presidential proclamation channels building resilience, energy efficiency

Proclaiming May National Building Safety Month, President Barack Obama noted; America’s buildings do more than house people and goods. They embody innovation; inspire creativity; and, provide foundations for families, businesses, and communities. During National Building Safety Month, we celebrate the dedicated professionals who keep our buildings secure, and we recommit to maintaining resilient, energy-efficient infrastructure.

Because this is not a task for government alone, my Administration has fostered partnerships between the public and private sectors. Joining with building officials, design professionals, scientists, and engineers, we continually develop new guidance and tools for increasing disaster-resistance and meeting building standards.

As Americans, our spirit is strong and resilient, and our buildings should match that spirit. From our homes to our high-rises, our museums to our malls, let us work to keep structures sound and up to code. We can conserve energy, protect the environment, and help communities withstand the impacts of natural disasters and climate change. I encourage citizens, government agencies, businesses, and other interested groups to join in activities that raise awareness about building safety.