Bonn, Germany – Many cities around the world are exposed to natural disasters that directly affect buildings. Resilient building and construction practices help to limit the damage caused by these disasters. FSC believes that these practices should, at the same time, be safe, energy efficient and based on sustainably produced and environmentally responsible material.
FSC representatives John Hontelez and Etienne McManus-White were among the panelists at the forum on ‘Resilient Building and Construction,’ held on May 31 as part of the Resilient Cities Conference 2013. This open panel discussion was an opportunity to share challenges and success stories on this issue.
FSC US’s Chief Marketing Officer, Etienne McManus-White, highlighted the Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington, the first commercial building in the USA to receive FSC Project Certification for utilizing 100 percent of its wood from FSC certified sources. McManus-White described the Bullitt Center as a “lighthouse for others to see the possibilities and opportunities for green and resilient building and construction.”
John Hontelez, FSC’s Chief Advocacy Officer, spoke about the need to interpret “resilience” in a broad way, meaning that cities are expected to ensure sustainable production and consumption with their activities. In relation to construction, this means using wood as the primary construction material, and ensuring it is harvested in responsibly managed forests. FSC certification is a tool to put this into practice. There are over 180 million ha of FSC certified forests worldwide, which provide than 10 percent of all commercially traded timber and timber products. “We consider wood to be a durable resource,” Hontelez said, “provided we manage forests properly.”
In conjunction with the forum, the FSC stand at the main exhibition area welcomed participants from a wide array of backgrounds to learn more about FSC’s developments in the field. FSC also co-organized a case study workshop showcasing concrete examples of green and resilient building and construction. Some of the ideas shared in the forum included Barcelona's URB-is project, an online information-sharing platform for resilient infrastructure, and South Korea's energy efficient LED lighting initiative.
FSC is looking forward to its continued cooperation with the World Green Building Council and ICLEI to promote responsible timber use and green and resilient building and construction.