NJIT's Alternative Spring Break

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      NJIT Alternative Spring Break

In early 2013, the Center for Resilient Design initiated the NJIT “Alternative Spring Break.” More than 300 students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends undertook volunteer work from Newark to the Jersey shore, cleaning up devastated areas and helping towns rebuild resiliently. Students worked on removing debris from beaches and parks, removing floors and wallboard, replacing floors and walls, painting and carpentry, stocking and distributing food and clothing, compiling information on areas affected by Sandy, and doing other work to help communities recover and rebuild. The highly successful program was implemented again in 2014.

For a playlist of NJIT's Alternative Spring Break videos, visit:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLu2A4jllfy5j-oLz97ExJ9z5C3Ahk  
 
See Alternative Spring Break 2014 for more information about the Center's 2014 activities.
NJIT Alternative Spring Break
 

Resilient Design: Prevention & Recovery (Selected Resources)

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This guide introduces materials to support the Resilient Design program and research activities of the Center for Resilient Design @NJIT. This guide has been compiled to share the latest data, maps, and other information across a number of organization platforms in order to provide a service to potential users. http://researchguides.njit.edu/resilientdesign    

World Urban Forum 7

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At the World Urban Forum 7  in Medellin, Colombia, the Center was represented by CoAD Dean Urs Gauchat and then Center Director Tom Dallessio. In a session on April 7th organized by the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, Dean Gauchat moderated a panel on Smart Cities and Director Dallessio served as a panelist. The Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization represents a collaboration with the UN, professional, academic, and other institutions organized to promote frameworks for sustainable development and exchanges of best practices with a new found optimism about our urban future. The Consortium is committed to support the UN Habitat Agenda and Goals 7 and 8 of the Millennium Development Goals through bringing together the different stakeholders of UN member countries for conferences and dissemination of innovative policies and solutions applicable to both developing and developed regions of the world. Its programs are meant to appeal to a broad audience that includes central and local governmental authorities, NGOs, planning and design professionals, academicians, the private sector, students, and the general public. SMART CITIES Announcement Final JM Smart Cities Introduction Urs slides Smart City_ Singapore SMART CITIES  

Three NJIT Officials Address the United Nations

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Three NJIT officials addressed the United Nations Friday, participating in an international conference about how cities can use resilient design to prepare for natural disasters. The United Nations is establishing policies on resilient design -- design that emphasizes stronger building methods -- and the addresses by NJIT’s Joel Bloom, Urs Gauchat and Thomas Dallessio will have an influence on the formulation of that policy. Their remarks will become part of the United Nation’s proceedings and help it establish international policies relating to resilient design, housing and infrastructure. The conference, titled “Resilient Design for Sustainable Urbanization,” was held as part of and in tribute to World Habitat Day, where cities around the world organized conferences addressing how they can improve transportation during disasters. It was held in the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council and attended by 400 people. The conference was organized by UN-Habitat, the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, AIA-NY and the Center for Resilient Design at NJIT. The conference was divided into two panels, the first of which, “To Build or Not to Build,” was moderated by Gauchat, Dean of the College of Architecture and Design; President Bloom later talked about the resilient design efforts at NJIT; and Dallessio, director of NJIT’s Center for Resilient Design, introduced the afternoon’s panel discussion on how resilient design can build sustainable communities and enhance urban mobility.

NJIT Center Takes the World Stage

The Center for Resilient Design, a co-sponsor of the conference, promotes innovation in storm-resistant building. It has also helped various communities in New Jersey rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Though just a year old, the center is already getting national and international recognition. Over the last year, teams of NJIT students and faculty have fanned out across the metro region, using their technical and design skills to help communities hurt by Sandy. That’s why the center was invited to co-sponsor and participate in a major international conference at the U.N. “To be invited to address the United Nations is a great honor for our center and validates what we are doing,” says Dellassio. “It also puts New Jersey and resilient design on the world stage.” The conference was attended by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary of the United Nations, and John Ashe, President of the U.N. General Assembly, who participated in the panel discussions. They were joined by experts from national and local governments, nonprofit groups and institutes as well as academia and industry, all of whom presented case studies on how cities can use resilient design to prepare for natural disasters.

Do We Have the Political Will to Rebuild?

Dean Gauchat, the first NJIT representative to speak, moderated a four-person panel. In his introductory remarks, Gauchat summarized the effects of global warming and then raised a series of questions for the panel and the audience. “Is it possible to retreat from all disaster-prone areas?” he asked. “And can major coastal cities retreat? Are there safer areas to move to that are not already populated? And most importantly, can long-term solutions to achieve more resilience be reconciled with the typical short-term thinking of politics and business?” After each of the panelists spoke, Gauchat summed up by stressing that while humanity has the technical knowledge to rebuild resiliently, what it lacks is a collective political will. “Resilient design is a fascinating topic,” said Gauchat.  “We know where to do it, we know how to do it, but ultimately it comes down to political will.    I am optimistic because the United Nations is all about collaboration. And I think our talks today will help us find and implement resilient design solutions.”

President Bloom Praises the Center

During lunch, President Bloom gave his address in the U.N.’s South Dining Room.  He gave an overview of NJIT, explaining why a nationally-ranked research university, located in Newark, is ideally suited to help the metro region rebuild. And he praised the Center for Resilient Design, where architects, designers, planners and other construction experts have collaborated to help the region recover and to prepare for other disasters spurred by rising sea levels. “I was personally affected by the storm,” said Bloom, “my house was destroyed by Sandy and was recently rebuilt. So I appreciate the quick action taken by the Center for Resilient Design, which just a few weeks after the storm had students and faculty in flooded areas, assessing the damage and thinking up resilient ways to rebuild homes and businesses.”

Detailing the Success of the Center

In the afternoon session, Dallessio, the director of the center, introduced the second panel of experts and framed the discussion. In his remarks, he said the center was created with the express purpose to help residents, businesses and communities recover from and anticipate future natural disasters. In one instance, he said, the center asked NJIT students and faculty to donate more than 3,500 hours of time volunteering to help communities from Newark to Beach Haven recover from Sandy.  Professors and students provided communities with 2-D, 3-D and 4-D designs for their homes and businesses. And 600 students also volunteered to give up their spring break, and to spend it instead working in New Jersey to help communities recover from the storm. “The challenges of resilient design for sustainable urbanization are varied and many,” said Dallessio. “Sustainable urban mobility will require us to be, as we like to say in New Jersey, stronger than the storm.  And in the end, innovation and best practices can and must be shared, making us smarter than the storm.”

By Robert Florida

Three NJIT Officials Address the United Nations

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Three NJIT officials addressed the United Nations Friday, participating in an international conference about how cities can use resilient design to prepare for natural disasters. The United Nations is establishing policies on resilient design -- design that emphasizes stronger building methods -- and the addresses by NJIT’s Joel Bloom, Urs Gauchat and Thomas Dallessio will have an influence on the formulation of that policy. Their remarks will become part of the United Nation’s proceedings and help it establish international policies relating to resilient design, housing and infrastructure. The conference, titled “Resilient Design for Sustainable Urbanization,” was held as part of and in tribute to World Habitat Day, where cities around the world organized conferences addressing how they can improve transportation during disasters. It was held in the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council and attended by 400 people. The conference was organized by UN-Habitat, the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, AIA-NY and the Center for Resilient Design at NJIT. The conference was divided into two panels, the first of which, “To Build or Not to Build,” was moderated by Gauchat, Dean of the College of Architecture and Design; President Bloom later talked about the resilient design efforts at NJIT; and Dallessio, director of NJIT’s Center for Resilient Design, introduced the afternoon’s panel discussion on how resilient design can build sustainable communities and enhance urban mobility.

NJIT Center Takes the World Stage

The Center for Resilient Design, a co-sponsor of the conference, promotes innovation in storm-resistant building. It has also helped various communities in New Jersey rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Though just a year old, the center is already getting national and international recognition. Over the last year, teams of NJIT students and faculty have fanned out across the metro region, using their technical and design skills to help communities hurt by Sandy. That’s why the center was invited to co-sponsor and participate in a major international conference at the U.N. “To be invited to address the United Nations is a great honor for our center and validates what we are doing,” says Dellassio. “It also puts New Jersey and resilient design on the world stage.” The conference was attended by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary of the United Nations, and John Ashe, President of the U.N. General Assembly, who participated in the panel discussions. They were joined by experts from national and local governments, nonprofit groups and institutes as well as academia and industry, all of whom presented case studies on how cities can use resilient design to prepare for natural disasters.

Do We Have the Political Will to Rebuild?

Dean Gauchat, the first NJIT representative to speak, moderated a four-person panel. In his introductory remarks, Gauchat summarized the effects of global warming and then raised a series of questions for the panel and the audience. “Is it possible to retreat from all disaster-prone areas?” he asked. “And can major coastal cities retreat? Are there safer areas to move to that are not already populated? And most importantly, can long-term solutions to achieve more resilience be reconciled with the typical short-term thinking of politics and business?” After each of the panelists spoke, Gauchat summed up by stressing that while humanity has the technical knowledge to rebuild resiliently, what it lacks is a collective political will. “Resilient design is a fascinating topic,” said Gauchat.  “We know where to do it, we know how to do it, but ultimately it comes down to political will.    I am optimistic because the United Nations is all about collaboration. And I think our talks today will help us find and implement resilient design solutions.”

President Bloom Praises the Center

During lunch, President Bloom gave his address in the U.N.’s South Dining Room.  He gave an overview of NJIT, explaining why a nationally-ranked research university, located in Newark, is ideally suited to help the metro region rebuild. And he praised the Center for Resilient Design, where architects, designers, planners and other construction experts have collaborated to help the region recover and to prepare for other disasters spurred by rising sea levels. “I was personally affected by the storm,” said Bloom, “my house was destroyed by Sandy and was recently rebuilt. So I appreciate the quick action taken by the Center for Resilient Design, which just a few weeks after the storm had students and faculty in flooded areas, assessing the damage and thinking up resilient ways to rebuild homes and businesses.”

Detailing the Success of the Center

In the afternoon session, Dallessio, the director of the center, introduced the second panel of experts and framed the discussion. In his remarks, he said the center was created with the express purpose to help residents, businesses and communities recover from and anticipate future natural disasters. In one instance, he said, the center asked NJIT students and faculty to donate more than 3,500 hours of time volunteering to help communities from Newark to Beach Haven recover from Sandy.  Professors and students provided communities with 2-D, 3-D and 4-D designs for their homes and businesses. And 600 students also volunteered to give up their spring break, and to spend it instead working in New Jersey to help communities recover from the storm. “The challenges of resilient design for sustainable urbanization are varied and many,” said Dallessio. “Sustainable urban mobility will require us to be, as we like to say in New Jersey, stronger than the storm.  And in the end, innovation and best practices can and must be shared, making us smarter than the storm.”

By Robert Florida

NJIT’s Matt Burgermaster wins 2013 Builder’s Choice Custom Home Design Award

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CoAD Assistant Professor Matt Burgermaster has won a 2013 Builder’s Choice Custom Home Design Award for his project “Ice Cycle House,” a sustainable “pre-fab” house located in Buffalo, New York. This design features an innovative combination of digital fabrication processes, prefabricated components, and low-cost materials within an exterior envelope solution that works with, instead of against, extreme snow loads and the natural snowmelt cycle by creatively integrating them into the building’s multifaceted performance of insulation and drainage functions. The system prototype was created in response to the need for new resilient design and construction solutions applicable to extreme climatic environments and weather situations. The Builder’s Choice Custom Home Design Awards is a national awards competition that honors housing projects for their excellence in both design and construction, and is judged by leading professionals from the architecture and building industries. This award was presented at the “Designing for Resilience” 2013 Reinvention Symposium and is published in the October issue of BUILDER, the magazine of the National Association of Home Builders. Selected out of over 630 entries, Burgermaster shares award honors in the “On The Boards” category with NADAAA/Nader Tehrani. The “Ice Cycle House” previously received awards in national design competitions from professional and academic organizations alike, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), and the Journal of Architecture Education (JAE).

Resilient Design on the UN Agenda As It Prepares for Climate Change

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By Alex Wilson The panel I was on at the United Nations World Habitat Day conference, “Resilient Design for Sustainable Urbanization.” Wrapping up an intense month of travel, I’m just back from New York City, where I spoke last Friday, October 4, 2013, at the UN World Habitat Day conference, Resilient Design for Sustainable Urbanism.” The event was cosponsored by the Consortium for Sustainable UrbanismAIA New York, and the NJIT Center for Resilient Design. It was an amazing opportunity to see the United Nations; I think I was last there over 40 years ago. The UN Headquarters Complex is going through a major $2 billion facelift that includes many exciting green features that are supposed to achieve 50% energy savings, 40% water savings, and a 45% reduction in the carbon footprint…. But that’s not the focus of this column. UN-Habitat and resilience The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, or UN-Habitat, is a UN agency focused on human settlements. It was launched in 1978 following a meeting in Vancouver known as Habitat I, and it is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. A follow-up conference, Habitat II, was held in Istanbul, Turkey in 1996, and Habitat III is planned for 2016. The conference last week was one of a number of events leading up to Habitat 3, and it reflected a growing interest by the UN in climate change, rising sea levels, and the impact these changes will have on urbanization. The day started off with an all-star cast: UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon from South Korea opened up the program and described the UN’s deeply held concerns about climate change and commitment to both sustainability and resilience. Ki-moon was followed by John Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda, president of the UN General Assembly; Néstor Osorio, the Columbian Representative to the UN and president of the UN Economic and Social Council; and Dr. Joan Clos of Spain, the Executive Director of UN-Habitat. Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of HUD in the U.S. and chair of the federal Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, was supposed to deliver the keynote, but could not due to the Federal Government shutdown. (How embarrassing to see such a poignant display of American dysfunctionalism on the international stage!) In his place was Henk Ovink, the former director general for Spatial Planning and Water Affairs for the Netherlands—and currently on loan to the U.S. for the above-mentioned task force. Morning and afternoon panels dug more deeply into various aspects of resilient design. In the morning panel I described how our vulnerabilities extend well beyond sea level rise and coastal flooding to such issues as more intense storms, inland flooding of valleys (as we saw with Tropical Storm Irene here in Vermont), tornados, ice and snow storms, drought, wildfire, solar flares, and such anthropogenic issues as terrorism and political upheaval. I described a number of secondary impacts of these events, including prolonged power outages, interruptions in gasoline supply, or an ability to pump gasoline. Finally, I presented the Resilient Design Principles that have recently been published by the Resilient Design Institute. Solutions elusive While all of us on the podium did a reasonable job articulating the challenges we face from sea level rise and climate change, effective solutions remain elusive. Some solutions were offered, surprisingly, by Dawn Zimmer, the mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. I say “surprisingly,” because I remember the photo of perhaps 100 taxis submerged by Sandy’s storm surge. I had been under the impression that Hoboken was far less prepared for flooding than New York, where Mayor Bloomberg has been at the forefront of disaster preparedness. But she told us of some amazing planning underway in the City, such as efforts to provide for safe bicycle commuting through the Lincoln Tunnel and other strategies to get cars off the streets. Henk Ovink noted that simply building things back to what they had been in the aftermath of storms like Sandy or Katrina is a lost opportunity. We need to learn from these disasters and respond appropriately. “Let the past be an inspiration for the future,” he told us in the afternoon. One of the most inspiring presentations was by Nancy Kete, the managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation, which just announced a $100 million program to support 100 cities around the world in developing and implementing plans for urban resilience over the next three years. The foundation will provide technical support and financial resources in this remarkable program. The full presentations from the conference are available online on the NJIT Center for Resilient Design in three video segments. There is much to do in addressing the multiple challenges of rising seas, more intense storms, and other impacts of climate change. But the UN’s leadership with climate change, not only with science (see the just released 5th Assessment Report from the International Panel on Climate Change), but also initiatives to do something about these challenges, gives me hope that progress can be made. Sequestered in the U.S., where Fox News does a highly successful job at foisting its fringe perspectives on politicians and a significant portion of the public, one can lose sight of just how seriously most of the rest of the world is taking climate change.

Syllabus: Better Boroughs, Resilient Regions – Spring 2013

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MIP 602 / ARCH 464: Better Boroughs, Resilient Regions – Syllabus Spring 2013 Mondays 1:00-5:45; Wednesday 8:30-11:25; Thursday 2:30-6:20 Weston Hall Faculty: Georgeen Theodore, School of Architecture (georgeen@interboropartners.com) Room 765 Weston Hall Office hours: by appointment Type of Course: Interdisciplinary studio of 5 credit hours/11.5 contact hours Studio criticism format 10 students expected Course Overview: The subject of this studio is the rebuilding of New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane, which made landfall near Atlantic City on October 29, 2012, wreaked havoc, and the damage to shoreline and waterfront communities was devastating. Housing, schools, roads, and recreational landscapes were wiped away by winds and rising tides. The scope of rebuilding is overwhelming, and most post-disaster efforts are local, and as a matter of necessity, focused on immediate needs. In contrast to the “let’s rebuild now!” mantra that is being repeated and organized on a “town-by-town” basis, this studio will work to examine the larger, regional design opportunities confronting the counties of Bergen, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Atlantic, and Ocean, and seek ways to interlink these opportunities with local initiatives. Working “on the ground” with representatives of the Regional Catastrophic Planning Team (NY-NJ-CT-PA), the Department of Homeland Security, Architecture for Humanity, FEMA, and with local community members, the studio will develop designs that purposefully negotiate between the urgent need for visionary, large-scale planning and demands to restore what was there. While the scope and ambition of the studio is clearly regional in its focus, students will be encouraged to develop discrete architectural proposals that engage issues of infrastructure and landscape, such as the redesign of seawalls, boardwalks, bridges and coastal barriers, as well as resilient housing. Given that preliminary estimates indicate a minimum ten year rebuilding effort, this studio seeks to help students develop expertise in an area that will drive the design and construction industry in New Jersey for the foreseeable future. The course will be organized in two phases: • 5X5 Investigations • Resiliency Proposals In the first, five-week phase, 5X5 Investigations, students will develop a set of projective illustrations that investigate the circumstances that led to wide-scale damage, assess post-Sandy conditions, and identify opportunities for future resiliency building. During this phase, the studio will work primarily at two scales: the scale of the state of New Jersey and at the scale of the borough or township. The studio will work collaboratively at the state scale, and individually at the borough scale. Each student will focus on different borough selected from the studio’s list of towns severely impacted by the storm. (See the attached list of selected boroughs.) Using his or her work from the first phase as a base, in the second phase Resiliency Proposals, each student will develop a resiliency proposal for his or her respective borough. Studio participants will have the freedom to develop their own project’s direction in consultation with the instructor, although all projects must perform in a way that (1) responds to short-term needs and (2) provides a long-term vision for improving the place. Emphasis will be on design thinking that negotiates local community needs with visionary regional strategies. The work of the studio will be collaboratively developed into a publication by semester’s end. (read more)   rollercoaster

Resilient Coastal Housing

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FutureVisionSeaBright2 ARCH 464/507 SUMMER 2013 – Professor Keith Krumwiede Currently, municipalities do not posses a comprehensive planning strategy to mitigate a homeowner’s decision of whether or not to elevate the home or rebuild as before. The consequence is a varied streetscape comprised of divergent building typologies that lack any cohesion. The resulting transformation of neighborhoods is not only disrupting the architectural fabric and character of entire neighborhoods, but lessening the quality of life of residents as well. The “porch culture” intrinsic to the way of life of these former summer cottages and fishing villages of coastal communities, is forever altered.

Necklace Necklace          Mantella Homes Mantella Homes          

Courtyard House Courtyard House Nested House Nested House          

Future Vision SeaBright Future Vision SeaBright

Research

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Under the direction of Dr. Michel Boufadel P.E, P.Hydro, the Center explores the challenges, constraints, and opportunities related to hard and soft infrastructure, and how to anticipate, plan for, recover from, and rebuild after natural and man-made disasters.

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