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Natural Disasters Loom. Is Your Real Estate Portfolio Ready?

The price tag for natural disasters is rising. Rives Taylor explains how real estate owners can develop resilient portfolios in his Apgar Award-winning article, “Minimizing Risk in an Era of Resilience

The price tag for natural disasters is rising.

According to the Urban Land Institute, (ULI) floods, fire, drought and windstorms caused $1 billion in losses within the United States last year. Communities, taxpayers, and individuals are increasingly finding themselves on the hook for the cost of clean-up and reconstruction, allocating significant funds to rebuild in the aftermath of nature’s unpredictable wrath.

This is not an efficient model. To mitigate the risk of catastrophic damage from natural disasters, and thereby reduce the cost of clean-up in the wake of a storm, communities need to design for resilience.

Resilient design is a topic close to the heart of Rives Taylor, one of the leader’s of Gensler’s global sustainable design practice. Rives has long been an advocate of using design to create urban spaces that are flexible and adaptable when subjected to the stress of floods, storms and other natural disasters. Rives’ article Minimizing Risk in an Era of Resilience was recently awarded the 2014 ULI Apgar Urban Land Award, which recognizes articles of exceptional practical value.

Gensler is proud of Rives work and will continue to explore best practices for resilient design. Anticipating disasters and designing to accommodate their stressful conditions is a smarter and more cost effective strategy than simply waiting for the clean-up period.

Rives Taylor is an architect and educator in the wilds of Texas. As principal at Gensler, a leading global design firm, he helps lead the firm’s sustainable design practice. In his spare time, he lectures as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston and serves as a visiting Professor at Rice University, teaching architecture and sustainable design. Currently he’s working with the City of Houston and other cities to develop more livable neighborhoods and sustainable water management strategies that support growing urban areas. Contact him at rives_taylor@gensler.com.

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