1. Building Design
Building design is key to saving energy, water, and reducing the risks for disaster.
There are many different ways to achieve good building design.
In building a new building many look to to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Energy efficiency and environmental design while important may not address important issues of disaster reduction.
One of the best strategies for combinging energy efficiency, environmental desgin, and disaster reduction can be found in the Monolithic Dome.
The Monolithic Dome uses about 25% the energy as conventional construction, uses environmentally friendly building materials, and is unequaled in reducing disaters. FEMA rates this contstruction process as "near absolute protection" meaning that they are 100% fire proof, insect proof, tornado proof, earthquake proof and can withstand hurricane winds up to 300 mph.
The Monolithic construction cost is comparable to conventional construction for buildings up to about 2000 square feet. Larger buildings then become exponentially more cost effective than conventional construction.
Because the buildings are built to last not decades but centuries, the maintenance costs are also less and some buildings have obtained lower insurance costs as well.
This building using monolithic construction took a direct hit from Hurricane Ivan and yet suffered only minor damage to its staircase while buildings around it were destroyed.
Here are four questions related to improving building design for sustainability and disaster reduction that could be asked to any tourism-related business or organization in a destination community:
What steps have been taken to improve the energy efficiency of your building's design, and what percentage of energy savings has been achieved as a result?
Methods to obtain information: Energy consumption data tracking, energy audits, building design blueprints
Proof examples: Energy bills, energy audit reports, building design plans
Reduce energy consumption by 20% within the next year
Install renewable energy sources to meet 50% of building's energy needs within the next 2 years
Achieve a LEED certification for energy efficiency within the next 5 years
Replace all lighting fixtures with energy-efficient LED bulbs within the next 6 months
What measures have been implemented to reduce the water consumption of your building, and what percentage of water savings has been achieved as a result?
Methods to obtain information: Water consumption data tracking, water audits, building design blueprints
Proof examples: Water bills, water audit reports, building design plans
Reduce water consumption by 15% within the next year
Install low-flow fixtures in all restrooms within the next 6 months
Implement rainwater harvesting systems within the next 2 years
Obtain a certification for water efficiency within the next 5 years
What strategies have been employed to make your building more resilient to natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods?
Methods to obtain information: Disaster risk assessments, building design plans, insurance policies
Proof examples: Disaster risk assessment reports, building design plans, insurance policy documents
Conduct a disaster risk assessment and implement recommendations within the next 6 months
Use monolithic construction for new buildings or major renovations within the next year
Obtain FEMA's "near absolute protection" rating for building resilience within the next 2 years
Conduct regular disaster preparedness drills and training for all employees
What sustainable building materials have been used in the construction or renovation of your building, and what percentage of materials come from sustainable and/or locally sourced sources?
Methods to obtain information: Building design plans, material purchase receipts, supplier information
Proof examples: Building design plans, material purchase receipts, supplier certifications
Increase the percentage of sustainable and locally sourced building materials to 50% within the next 2 years
Use recycled building materials for all minor renovations and repairs within the next year
Obtain a certification for sustainable building materials within the next 5 years
Implement a sustainable building material purchasing policy for all future construction or renovations.
The monolithic architecture and construction can also be adapted to any sustainble tourism theme as can be seen in the Xanadu Island Resort video below. Building design for sustainable tourism can be cost effective, energy efficient and be designed for disater reduction.