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Will Hurricane Irma Bring Building Resiliency To The Fore In Facilities Management?

Over the past week, news channels have been filled with coverage of Hurricane Irma, the category 5 hurricane which raged through a string of Caribbean Islands and US states including Florida and Texas. This latest hurricane to hit the US reminds us of a well-known problem: power grids and buildings are vulnerable to storms. Hurricane Irma caused 6.7 million households and businesses in Florida to suffer power loss for up to three days and caused billions of dollars of damage to real estate.

So as storms become more frequent and intense, according to NOAA research, will building resiliency be pushed up the agenda in facilities management? Extreme weather has already provoked new strategies in the US power sector. For example, after millions of blackouts from Hurricane Sandy and the June 2012 Midwest derecho, US power utilities spent millions of dollars strengthening the power grid. Witness Florida Light & Power’s $646 million Electric Infrastructure Storm Hardening Plan and New York State $40 million of funding to support the development of microgrids in regions prone to storm outages.

Building resiliency has long been on the agenda for hospitals and military bases. As extreme weather feels increasingly common in the US, we expect a broader range of commercial buildings to prioritize resiliency in facilities management to minimize disruption and costs incurred.

For more insights on emerging technologies that support building resiliency, including energy storage, onsite generation and microgrid control systems, read our latest technology roadmaps: Tech Roadmap For Facilities Optimization Software and Tech Roadmap For Facilities Optimization Technologies.