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Concrete is innately resilient, even in the harshest of conditions.

cn tower alongside a bright blue sky

The resilience of our built environment—the ability of our homes, buildings and infrastructure to withstand extreme events like fire, earthquakes and violent weather, and our own ability to function in the face of these events—is central to thriving, sustainable communities. Even more so as climate change exacerbates the intensity and frequency of these events, adding a whole new dimension to our challenge. 

Thankfully, concrete structures play a critical role in making communities more resilient and safer.

Resilient concrete

Concrete is innately resilient, even in the harshest of conditions. It’s resistant to fire, wind, water, vibrations, and earthquakes. It provides superior resistance to damage and an unsurpassed combination of structural strength and wind resistance. It also helps us get through disasters with less loss and less waste, keeping people safer longer and making it easier for communities to recover more quickly.

Furthermore, concrete’s thermal mass improves a building’s “passive survivability”—its ability to maintain critical life-support conditions if utilities like power, heating fuel, or water are lost—increasing comfort for occupants and minimizing peak-energy demands to the city as a whole.

And, while researchers begin to study how climate change consequences (flooding, melting permafrost, etc.) impact pavements to help us design more resilient roads, we already know that the rigidity of concrete pavement makes it resilient to harsh conditions.

These are all good starting points when considering resilient solutions for evermore dense urban living in the age of climate change. And there’s more to be done moving forward.

Sustainable construction for a circular economy