Director Evans Participates in 2018 New Jersey Coastal Resilience Summit

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On October 9, Director Evans participated in the 2018 New Jersey Coastal Resilience Summit at Monmouth University.  Researchers, practitioners and policy makers from across New Jersey took part in an interactive suite of discussions designed to help the NJ Department of Environmental Protection - who supported the event – to craft a New Jersey Coastal Resilience Plan.  The purpose of the Plan will be to inform and guide the State’s policies, regulations, resource allocations and funding in the coastal zone to reduce the impacts of coastal hazards; increase resiliency for structures, infrastructure systems, environmental resources, and coastal communities; address socially vulnerable populations; and attract equitable and sustainable investment.  The Summit was intended to begin discussion and prioritization of key elements of the Plan, which will continue to develop over the course of 2019.

Photo of Kathleen Frangione, Frank Pallone and DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe at Summit

Kathleen Frangione, Chief Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor; Representative Frank Pallone; and DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe discuss legislative and policy perspectives at the Coastal Resilience Summit.

Director Evans Attends NYSERDA Climate Change & Buildings Workshop

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Executive Director Evans joined researchers, policy makers, and other resilience practitioners and stakeholders from across the Northeast for a one-day, invitation-only workshop in Albany, NY on October 2, 2018.  The workshop – Climate Change & Buildings: Adaptation Research Planning – was convened to help the Environmental Research program at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) by identifying and prioritizing key adaptation issues related to buildings and the built environment.  Findings from the workshop will be used by NYSERDA to update their climate change adaptation research plan for the next five years. 

Photo of Deane Evans

National Resilience Initiative

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Resilience concerns continue to grow in the national consciousness, due in large part to our expanding understanding that many disasters and disturbances are no longer isolated once-in-a-lifetime events, but part of a longer ongoing pattern already set in motion. A new mindset has emerged to accommodate a spectrum of social, environmental, and technological change, while taking into account the people, landscape, or economies at stake.

The National Resilience Initiative (NRI) is a joint program of AIA and the Architects Foundation, with the Association for Collegiate Schools of Architecture, that unites six university-led architecture studios to develop new designs, research, and policies that bolster resilience in the built environment. The NJIT Center for Resilient Design was the first organization selected to join the NRI.

National Resilience Initiative

Resilient Design Scholar

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Resilient Design ScholarResilient Design Scholar

The Center for Resilient Design has received a generous, $5000.00 grant from the American Institute of Architects – its National Resilience Initiative – to support our first “Resilient Design Scholar.” The selected Scholar will be an architecture student who will work with us in the Center over the summer of 2018 to conduct a research project focused on resilient design and construction. The AIA funds will inaugurate the program (all the funds will go to the student) with the hope that we could secure other funding sources – internal or external – to continue the program in subsequent years.

The research focus for our first Scholar will be to create An Introduction to Resilient Design: a curriculum for a three-credit elective course that can be used to teach 4th year architecture students about critical issues in resilient design. The course will be designed to mesh with what 4th year architecture students already know about building design and construction – and what they don’t – and will be designed to reinforce and help expand their knowledge. 

The course will be taught at NJIT during the Spring semester 2019. It is anticipated that the course will also be made available to other architecture schools across North America, potentially in conjunction with the ACSA. 

Resilience + Adaptation

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Deane Evans, the Executive Director of the Center for Resilient Design, is currently the lead author and lead instructional designer of a multimedia online curriculum being produced by the American Institute of Architects titled Resilience + Adaptation. Several of the courses in this 10-hour, 10-course curriculum focus generally on the topic of adaption to chronic stresses (as distinct from resilience to acute shocks), and two of the courses focus specifically on community response to both acute shocks and chronic stresses.

Healthy Coastal Ecosystems: Historic Greenwich Township Project

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The Center for Resilient Design is currently overseeing a project to explore ways to protect ecosystems and their surrounding communities from flooding. Focused on the small community of Greenwich Township, New Jersey, the project seeks to advance coastal resiliency planning while balancing human and ecosystem needs.

Healthy Coastal Ecosystems: Historic Greenwich Township Project  Healthy Coastal Ecosystems: Historic Greenwich Township Project 

A causeway across a tidal creek in Greenwich, NJ. A culvert fitted with a downstream flap gate was installed under and through the causeway.

New Jersey Urban Mayors Academy on Resilience

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In 2015, the Center for Resilient Design convened the first New Jersey Urban Mayors Academy on Resilience. Mayors from six New Jersey cities attended a 2-day retreat that developed local resiliency strategies fine-tuned to the specific needs of each community. The Academy is a joint effort of NJIT, the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy of Thomas Edison State College, and the Regional Plan Association. Modeled on similar – and highly successful – regional and urban design institutes, the Academy invited mayors and a resource team of technical, design, and planning professionals to develop local resiliency strategies that synthesize the best available approaches with specific local conditions, costs, and benefits. The resulting strategies were summarized for each participating mayor and released publicly to serve as models for other urban municipalities throughout the state and beyond. Participating New Jersey municipalities included Bridgeton, Orange, Perth Amboy, Trenton, and Vineland.

New Jersey Urban Mayors Academy on Resilience

Sustainability + Resilience

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Sustainability + Resilience   

In early 2015, the Center began work on a research project analyzing the relationship between sustainability and resilience at the scale of the single family house. Specifically, the Center analyzed a home in Ocean City, NJ that had been damaged in Super Storm Sandy and recently rebuilt. The study analyzed whether the repairs implemented would qualify the home for both Energy Star certification (a measure of its sustainability) and for Fortified Home designation (a measure of its resilience). The study was a first step in what the Center hopes will be a broader set of analyzes to assess the degree to which energy conservation measures can result in improved resilience and vice versa. 

Sustainability + Resilience

Energy Star

  Sustainability + Resilience

Microgrids + Resilience

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Microgrids + Resiliency   

In late 2014, the Center for Resilient Design initiated a study to assess the potential for using distributed power generation and “microgrids” to both increase energy efficiency and reduce hazard vulnerability at the community level. Through an innovative partnership with the Regional Plan Association and the New Jersey Energy Resilience Bank, the Center conducted an analysis of potential locations for distributed energy resources in the Sandy-affected regions of New Jersey. The project identified a series of 24 “town centers” – clusters of public facilities and geographically adjacent non-public buildings – that could be suitable for community-level microgrids. A report summarizing results was provided to the Energy Resilience Bank, which has indicated a desire to expand the analysis to all the remaining counties in New Jersey. 

Microgrids + Resiliency  Microgrids + Resiliency Microgrids + Resiliency

Hoboken Terminal Studio

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Hoboken Terminal Studio

In Spring semester 2015, through a generous grant from New Jersey Transit, the NJIT College of Architecture and Design – in collaboration with the Center for Resilient Design – conducted a research seminar and a comprehensive Design Studio focused on expanding and improving the resiliency of the Hoboken Terminal. The terminal, located on the northern edge of the city of Hoboken, is one of NJ Transit’s most trafficked, and serves as a multi-nodal center with New York City access via train, PATH, and ferry; Hudson County access via PATH and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail; and broader state access via NJ Transit trains. The existing terminal was damaged during Super Storm Sandy, requiring the resilient adaption of the building while expanding it with an annex.

Students worked in teams over the course of the semester, with regular input and review by New Jersey Transit architectural and engineering personnel. At the conclusion of the semester, four projects were selected for further elaboration by a four-person team of students working as summer interns at New Jersey Transit’s headquarters in Newark. 

Hoboken Terminal Studio

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