Future-Proofing: Seeking Resilience in the Historic Built Environment
Rich, Brian D.
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Abstract Future-proofing is the process of anticipating future events and developing methods of adaptation. This process includes mitigation of negative effects while taking advantage of positive effects of changes, shocks, and stresses imposed on buildings. This thesis defines future-proofing, develops the Principles of Future-Proofing historic buildings, and creates a future-proofing rating system for evaluating interventions in historic buildings. Based upon a literature review of the use of the terms “future-proofing” and “resiliency” in the architecture, engineering, and construction [AEC] industry and other industries, attributes of “future-proof” were derived. Meaning and application of these attributes to the historic built environment are explained and developed into the 12 Principles of Future-Proofing. A rating system for future-proof capability is developed based upon existing criteria from the RELi Resilience Rating System, LEED, Envision, and other rating systems. The Future-Proofing rating system is applied to four case study restoration projects. Three “Restore the Core” projects completed between 2000 and 2010 at the Seattle campus of the University of Washington were analyzed. They were Clark Hall, Playhouse Theater, and Savery Hall. Analysis of these projects showed that objective application of the Principles was possible and complimented the subjective application of the Principles. Unexpected consistency of the rating system results was discovered to be a result of a consistent approach to the projects by the University of Washington’s Capital Project Office despite the differing use, location, and nature of the projects. An additional case study of the Spokane and Interurban Electric Railroad Building (SIERR Building) restoration demonstrated that the future-proofing rating system demonstrated the applicability of the rating system to building types in different regions and for differing uses. The SIERR Building scored significantly higher on the rating system than the UW buildings because of the historic nature of the building and a focus on long term use of the building. This resulted higher scores for durability, adaptability, and flexibility at the SIERR Building compared to the UW buildings. This research concludes that (1) the attributes of future-proof items can be codified as a set of Principles, (2) Future-Proofing embodies a broader definition of sustainable and resilient design and life cycle assessment than popular concepts of resilience, (3) the Future-Proofing rating system is a valuable tool for objective evaluation of future-proof capacity, (4) subjective application of the Principles of Future-proofing is valuable during the process of making design decisions, (5) Future-proofing is a flexible system that can be adapted to different building and construction types in different regions and adjusted to support project specific goals, and (6) that continuous revision of the rating system is required to maintain compatibility with the rating systems upon which it is based.
- Architecture