ARC 606-4– Building Resilience

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Course Details

Course No.: 17416

Department: Architecture

Semester: 2016 Spring

Location: TBD – TBD

Meeting Day(s): Tuesday, Thursday

Meeting Time: 1:30PM - 7:20PM

Faculty: Bohm

Buildings currently use about 50% of the energy in the US, and produce nearly half the CO2 emissions. Current climate research suggests that while emissions reductions remain a priority for the built environment, some measure of planning to adapt a changing climate is needed. Strategies to reduce building emissions are well characterized, but approaches for climate resilience are just now emerging.


The built environment is still only mid-way through the paradigm shift from the era of design for cheap fossil- fuel energy to the era of design for costly fuel sources or renewables. This studio suggests that second shift is needed, toward the design of buildings which are resilient to the impacts of a changing climate. Energy efficiency and climate resilience may suggest divergent approaches to design, and holistic approaches for synthesizing both goals are needed within an overarching framework of ecological design.


After initial research into philosophical and technical literature on building resilience, each student will carve out a conceptual attitude toward the project based on varying strategies such as strength, flexibility, ephemerality, redundancy, or other. The studio will culminate in a building-scale project in New York City. The class will take a site visit to the city at a date to be determined at the start of the semester.


This studio coincides with a University at Buffalo research project funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on Building Sector Climate Impacts and Adaptation. Projects developed in this studio may be featured in future symposia and publications; the final phase of the studio will involve development of projects for these venues.