Codes, resilience and climate change

Many clients are dealing with a conundrum at the cross between codes, resilience and climate change. Solving it is paramount for tactical and strategic planning purposes. Code compliance is not synonymous with resilience When facing good-old hazards that are becoming more frequent and more intense, perhaps due to climate change, it is easy to realize that code compliance becomes meaningless. Indeed, codes work for the “good old way”, both in terms of resilience and frequency. A code compliant solution may…

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A tale of hazards, risks and resilience

A tale of hazards, risks and resilience came to my mind while in Venice, end of October. I lived though an extraordinary “acqua alta” (high tide) which submerged approximately 70% of the city and was reportedly the fifth event of such magnitude in 924 years. Aqua alta is a complex event combining high tide and wind driven surge in the Venetian Laguna: South winds hinder the tide outflow and “push” in the Laguna open sea water. Aqua alta is not…

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Resilience and reliability concepts applied to Oroville Dam

So, we are in a conceptual exercise today. We discuss how to apply Resilience and reliability concepts to Oroville Dam. We will stay away from numbers, as we do not know them. Oroville Dam system A catchment area of 3,607 sq mi (9,340 km2) brings water to the Feather River Valley upstream of the dam location. The Oroville dam bars the Feather River Valley  mainly for water supply, hydroelectricity generation and flood control. The Dam’s design and building procedure complied…

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Resilience, sustainability and insurance

At R&R Conference we heard the representative of a major mutual insurance company talking about Resilience, sustainability and insurance. Resilience, sustainability and insurance Resilience was defined as the ability to recover after an accident, the ability to withstand disruption and rebound quickly. The talk also discussed sustainability as it was defined by the UN in 1987. The UN Brundtland Commission was officially dissolved in December 1987 after releasing Our Common Future. The text, also known as the Brundtland Report, coined…

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Resilience cannot be based on instinctual decision-making

Resilience cannot be based on instinctual decision-making. Instead it should rely on forward looking risk assessments to avoid squandering private and public money in useless Capex. Do we need resilience enhancements? The Canadian government pledged a budget of 40M$ over five years to integrate climate resilience into building design, guides and codes. It’s certainly a wise move as codes customarily rely on statistics, business like usual, and experience. None of those approaches is robust enough to cope with climate changes…

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More about resilience

Did we learn more about resilience at the Conference on Risk and Resilience? Over forty papers and keynote lectures covered many aspects of hazards, risks. However, only a few taught about resilience. By the way, one of the key lecturer asked the audience if there were any CEOs or CxOs from any mining company in the room. A long silence was the answer. Nobody…it’s remarkable, isn’t it? It seems that even in the aftermath of the two last tailings dams…

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Resilience, the old way

Resilience, the old way was often the result of “simple over-design”. As a matter of fact especially when invasions provided very cheap labour, as slaves and, in modern times, war or political prisoners of some kind. Souvenirs about Resilience, the old way I remember my first job as a civil engineer, in North Africa, at the end of the seventies. The mission was to check over 200km of single track railroad for foundation stability and bridges integrity. Someone high-up in…

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Risk and Resilience in Mining

We are only two weeks away from the Risk and Resilience in Mining Conference. It will take place in Vancouver (Nov. 13th to 16th) with the following program. Risk and Resilience in Mining Let’s adopt a bit of a polemical stance, just to stir the discussion. First of all, in particular as it relates to the term resilience, are we sure we need to “invent a new word” for it? Isn’t it just “returning to good sense engineering” what we…

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