Resilient Design Studios

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Over the course of Spring semester 2013 and during Fall and Spring semesters 2014, the NJIT College of Architecture and Design – in collaboration with the Center for Resilient Design – conducted a series of undergraduate design studios focused on various aspects of resilient design. Close to 1,000 NJIT faculty and students created provocative designs and models that both visualized (re)building Post-Sandy and anticipated the next natural disaster. A centralized clearinghouse is being created to organize this information and provide public officials, design professionals, and others with access to the research that went into the projects and the resulting design solutions.

Resilient Design Studios    Resilient Design Studios

 

Resilient Design Studios   Resilient Design Studios

Greenwich Township Studio

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Greenwich Township Studio

A special aspect of our efforts to explore how communities could become more resilient in the face of future events has been the use of architectural design studios at NJIT to research, analyze and develop innovative design strategies for increasing resilience in specific New Jersey communities. Such studios provide unique platforms for bringing communities together around the topic of resilience and then help them define and envision alternate future conditions for their specific circumstances. By creating highly visual outputs that community stakeholders can understand and react to, design studios can stimulate community enthusiasm in ways that other types of engagement may not and can be strong motivators for action going forward.   

The Center for Resilient Design is currently conducting such a studio to improve resilience in Greenwich Township on the Delaware River. Students from NJIT's College of Architecture and Design are exploring a range of planning approaches and design concepts to enhance the township’s resistance to flooding and improve economic conditions through a range of ecotourism strategies. The Greenwich community has been actively engaged with the project and, while the student concepts are not fully developed, they do present a range of innovative, thought-provoking resilience/economic revitalization strategies for residents to consider.

Breezy Point Resiliency Rebuild

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The Center for Resilient Design is providing measurement and evaluation services for an affordable, energy-efficient, and resilient new residence to replace a home destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in Breezy Point, New York. With the help of NJIT architecture students, the project will document the design and construction process and create an online training program designed to help builders and homeowners in coastal communities understand why and how they, too, can rebuild resiliently in the wake of disasters. 

Breezy Point Resiliency Rebuild

New Jersey Community Microgrids Planning Academy

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New Jersey Community Microgrids Planning Academy

The Center for Resilient Design is in the process of completing an online educational platform to educate municipal officials and their staffs on the value and feasibility of developing resilient community microgrids in their jurisdictions. The project, funded by HUD through the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, is nearing completion and is expected to launch during the third quarter of 2018. The project builds on an earlier CRD study that mapped promising potential sites for resilient microgrids across New Jersey.

A microgrid is a localized power grid that serves a small network of critical electricity users – hospitals, police, fire, etc. – within a small, clearly defined geographical area. Power is generated from energy sources located within the defined geographical area. The whole system is designed to easily connect to or disconnect from the larger electrical grid so that it can operate in “grid-connected” mode during normal conditions or in “island” mode during power disruptions caused by natural hazards. New Jersey is one of the leading states in the country in promoting and supporting community microgrids.

Content for the online platform – the Community Resilience Microgrids Planning Academy – was generated through an in-depth community engagement process with the towns of Neptune and Galloway, beginning with the Mayor’s offices and then expanding to include stakeholders across each community. The lessons learned from these engagements forms the basis of the Academy curriculum and will be disseminated to Mayor’s offices and other community stakeholders after the Academy is launched.

Based on the results from Galloway and Neptune, CRD is convinced that the microgrid planning process is a unique way to catalyze community interest in the overall topic of resilience and could potentially serve as a vehicle for expanding the conversation beyond local power production to other strategies for addressing acute shocks and chronic stresses. 

RPA Assembly 2018

Welcome

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The New Jersey Institute of Technology established the Center for Resilient Design in late 2012 – in the immediate aftermath of Super Storm Sandy. The Center’s founding mission was to serve as a resource to help New Jersey communities recover from the effects of Sandy – first as a special program within the College of Architecture and Design (COAD) and then as a full-fledged center within the university. 
These activities soon evolved into broader explorations of how these same communities could become more resilient in the face of future events. Building on lessons learned in New Jersey, the Center has become a research, technical assistance, and training institution focused on improving the resilience of buildings and communities in the face of natural disasters and other stresses to inform and support disaster-resilience initiatives in other jurisdictions across the US and beyond.

Center for Resilient Design

Terra Meierdierck, MAT

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Terra Meierdierck, MAT, is a Program Manager for the Center for Resilient Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, focusing on sustainable resilience, with a special emphasis on developing online training programs.

Most recently, Terra helped develop and launch the Certificate of Proficiency in Benchmarking: a national benchmarking training and credentialing program, funded by the US Department of Energy and developed in cooperation with the US EPA and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Currently she is working to develop the Certificate of Proficiency in the Asset Score Tool - a US Department of Energy tool for evaluating the physical and structural energy efficiency of a building.  She previously worked to develop online training for building commissioning, energy auditing, retro commissioning and weatherization of residential properties. 

Prior to working at CBK, Terra was the Program Manager of the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS), a New Jersey based not-for-profit that focuses on sustainability in higher education.  At NJHEPS Terra worked to develop 25 campus energy master plans funded by the NJBPU, identifying energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration opportunities at the campuses.  Terra has worked in the commercial, institutional and residential sectors, as a not-for-profit, supporting energy efficiency, resource conservation and education for sustainability projects. 

Christine Liaukus, RA, CPHC

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Christine Liaukus has been working in the world of environmentally conscientious design for over twenty years. Prior to joining the Center, Christine was a Project Architect with the New York firm Chris Benedict R.A., creating environmentally responsible affordable housing. Preceding this, she was an associate at Steven Winter Associates, building systems consultants, where she advised builders across the country on technical issues through the Department of Energy Building America program and HUD's Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing. While pursuing her Master's degree in Architecture at the University of Oregon, Christine was a research fellow at the University's Center for Housing Innovation. Christine has also worked as a residential energy auditor in New Jersey and Georgia. Christine is a member of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association and the US Green Building Council, and is the first Certified Passive House Consultant in New Jersey.

Deane Evans, FAIA

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Deane Evans has dedicated his career to creating innovative ways to improve the built environment – through better design, through the development and use of better technology, and through the creation and dissemination of new knowledge. A registered architect and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Mr. Evans began his career in private practice, applying his technical and management expertise to construction technology and building performance problem solving. Clients included corporations, government agencies, trade associations, foreign companies, and nonprofit organizations. As his career advanced, Mr. Evans assumed increasingly higher levels of management responsibility, eventually accepting a series of appointments to nationally prominent positions within the construction industry and with the federal government. From these positions, Mr. Evans concentrated on creating, promoting, and disseminating practical information and guidelines focused on enhancing the quality of buildings and communities nationwide. Currently, Mr. Evans directs the Center for Building Knowledge at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he continues to develop resources for architects and builders to create educational tools for the many nontechnical stakeholders involved in shaping the built environment.

Contact

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New Jersey Institute of Technology
Center for Resilient Design
University Heights
Newark, New Jersey 07102

p:  973.642.4860  
f:  973.596.6097  

cbk@njit.edu

In the News

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“We face incredible challenges related to climate change: sea level rise, an increasing number of storms, draught, fire, the list goes on and on,” says College of Architecture and Design professor Georgeen Theodore. “We absolutely need to plan for these events, and this includes what to do before, during and immediately after a disaster.” >>
Nearly four years ago, Hurricane Sandy barreled up the New Jersey coast, leaving communities both along the shore and inland decimated in her wake. In the Delaware Bayshore area in Cumberland County, many small towns were flooded by the storm surge. Among them was Greenwich Township, where dikes built in the 1600s to protect its village and farms and already breached were significantly worsened by the hurricane. Also greatly affected was the ecosystem just behind the dikes, which plays a vital role in both the local environment and economy. >>
Deane Evans, executive director of the NJIT Center for Resilient Design and professor Richard Garber, director of the New Jersey School of Architecture at NJIT, participated in a “Resilient and Sustainable Cities: Bridging from COP21 to Habitat III” symposium in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. >>
Deane Evans, executive director of NJIT's Center for Resilient Design, provided closing remarks on a panel session during the 2016 Federal Alliance for Safe Homes Conference in Orlando, Florida. >>
NJIT's Center for Resilient Design hosted a one-day workshop on how to use concrete to make single-family homes more resilient and sustainable. >>

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