Building Resilience even more in Focus at ICFG after Typhoon Odette

In a very timely online episode held by the Infrastructure and Construction Focus Group (ICFG), in partnership with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines and IFC, a member company of the World Bank Group it was highlighted how fundamental it is to focus our attention to the resilience of constructions towards natural disasters.

 In fact, the recent typhoon Odette has shown how nature can have a devastating impact on buildings and infrastructure, especially in those affected areas in the Visayas and Northern Mindanao. Building disaster resilient buildings should at this point seem a natural conclusion after seeing dozens of images of destroyed houses, collapsed bridges and livelihoods. Therefore professional and experienced speakers like Architect Ramon Abiera, ICFG director, UAP chair for resilience and innovation committee and former Executive Director of CIAP (Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines), Architect Romolo Nati, Chairman and CEO of Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC) and Angelo Tan, Country Lead for the Philippines at the Climate Business Department of the International Finance Corporation, a sister organization of the World Bank Group, engaged in a round of dissertations to showcase the importance of building appropriately.

Architect Romolo Nati highlighted the importance to choose the right location and how he studies the influence of natural elements on the planned constructions like the wind, the sun and the rain to design the projects in the best possible way minimizing the impact on the environment. His fierce advocacy about green and sustainable building gives reason to believe that this must be the way forward for everyone if we want to live in a safe and green environment. He also experienced the damage that typhoon Sendong was able to create in Northern Mindanao where he just started building Primavera Residences back in 2021. Architect Ramon Abiera focused on what designers and constructors need to pay attention to in order to minimize safety hazards in extreme situations like earthquakes, floods and typhoons. He also remembered typhoon Haiyan’s relief efforts which he oversaw while assessing the damages on local infrastructure during his term at CIAP. Angelo Tan instead discussed about IFC’s Building Resilience Index, an innovation of IFC and supported by the World Bank, the Government of the Netherlands, and the Australian Embassy in the Philippines, is a web-based hazard mapping and resilience assessment framework that evaluates location-specific, climate-related risks for a real estate project or portfolio, and the resilience measures that have been implemented. BRI facilitates the identification, management, and disclosure of these disaster risks in buildings.

As the Philippines aims to grow as a country it is absolutely important to build disaster resilient infrastructure and construction especially in areas that are prone to natural occurrences like earthquakes, typhoons and flooding. All speakers agreed that sticking to the national building code is the first requisite to building safety. Additional tools like BRI and passive green design software can certainly minimise the impact of such devastating events we have yet again witnessed with typoon Odette.

The Infrastructure and Construction Focus Group has launched the episode series of Design & Construct Report from their Facebook page and Youtube channel “Design, Build Construct Philippines – ICFG and the episode can be watched here:

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