New York City is accustomed to finding bold and innovative solutions. Create + Construct brings together New York City’s AEC leaders to explore how to create resilient and better-performing buildings, infrastructure, and communities.

8:00 a.m.   Registration + Breakfast 
8:45 a.m.  

Social Infrastructure: Designing for Resiliency

9:45 a.m.   Session 1
Wind and Seismic Design: Balancing Common and Uncommon Resiliency Demands
11:15 a.m.   Break
11:30 a.m.   Session 2
Built Environment vs. Extreme Weather: Mitigating Flood Damage
12:30 p.m.   Lunch
1:30 p.m.   Session 3
Safe and Secure: Integrating Blast Resistance into Curtain Wall Design
2:30 p.m.   Session 4
Beyond the Code: Addressing Fire and Life Safety Concerns in Modern Design​
3:30 p.m.   Break
3:45 p.m.   Session 5 Panel Discussion
A More Resilient New York City: Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities
5:15 p.m.   Reception

Social Infrastructure: Designing for Resiliency
Climate change is quickly becoming a defining issue of urban and architectural practice in the 21st century. As evidenced by Hurricanes Sandy, Harvey, Katrina, and others, coastal cities will require significant investments to combat rising sea levels, higher storm surges, heavier precipitation, more frequent heat waves, and other hazards. Inevitably, these issues will transform low-lying coastal neighborhoods, but recent projects have demonstrated that New York City is ready to begin addressing its vulnerabilities in ways that go beyond traditional 20th century models for infrastructure. By approaching resiliency in conjunction with needed social and urban improvements, investments in “social infrastructure” can work overtime to multiply benefits and build constituencies and funding for their construction. Design tools are important to this process – the ability to think synthetically, and to give form and communicate potential futures, places the discipline in a unique position to guide decision-making. As evidenced in practice, these issues demand a comprehensive approach cutting across architecture, landscape, engineering, and urbanism to find the right tools for the job.

In this keynote address, Jeremy Siegel of BIG will share lessons learned from his robust practice in climate change adaptation, including his experiences with projects to protect New York City’s vulnerable waterfront such as the Big U and the subsequent East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. 

Jeremy Siegel, Associate, BIG

Wind and Seismic Design: Balancing Common and Uncommon Resiliency Demands 
As our climate changes, extreme weather events have become more prevalent, leading to high winds and related storm surge on coastal areas in New York City. These events have the potential to cause widespread damage to the built environment, resulting in property damage, temporary downtime, or permanent loss. While wind loads and flooding are an essential part of resilient design, seismic events are also a significant risk that must be considered for the same holistic design reasons. While they are not often discussed, several fault lines exist underneath the city, including along 125th Street from New Jersey to the East River. These faults bring the chance of earthquakes and require resilient thinking that can conflict with other needs; for example, placing a structure on stilts to address flood risks significantly reduces its seismic resistance.

In this session, we will discuss how seismic events and increased wind loads affect the built environment. We will also explore current trends for resilient design, including the potential need to design beyond code-required minimums.

Konstantinos Garcia-Syngros, Senior Project Manager, Langan
Kevin Poulin, Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
David Prevatt, Associate Professor, University of Florida

Built Environment vs. Extreme Weather: Mitigating Flood Damage 
Natural disasters have caused significant damage and loss of business to the built environment and infrastructure in the Northeast. Hurricane Sandy showed that the New York metropolitan area is no exception. With extreme weather events occurring at increasing frequency, the resilience of the built environment becomes paramount to withstand these events in the future. Owners, operators, and designers must put plans in place to protect facilities; offer continuity of service; and safeguard tenants, employees, and assets during extreme events. 

In this session, we will address resilience from several perspectives, including high-level planning, individual project implementation, and detailed design. We will discuss critical interaction points between AEC professionals and their counterparts in business operations, the process of identifying vulnerabilities to extreme events, and strategies for improving resilience at existing facilities.

Kevin Davis, Project Engineer, Con Edison
Filippo Masetti, Senior Project Manager, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Safe and Secure: Integrating Blast Resistance into Curtain Wall Design
Designing custom glazing systems is a complex task that varies widely from project to project, often depending on the overall architectural goals and constraints of the project. The addition of security concerns and requirements brings more complexity of these systems, creating challenges in trying to design systems that work with everyday issues – such as weatherproofing and thermal performance – while resisting loads for blasts or other violent events that are much larger. 

In this session, we will examine the design factors and processes that are used for projects with customized systems from start to finish, including the architectural, engineering, and fabrication issues that should be considered. We will also discuss how blast loads and other security factors complicate these designs. 

Scott Bondi, Associate Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Federico Patrono, Design Department Manager of Bleu Tech, Permasteelisa North America

Beyond the Code: Addressing Fire and Life Safety Concerns in Modern Design
Building codes have historically been developed in response to lessons learned from high-profile disasters with high loss of life and major operational disruption. As such, fires have been the primary driver of life safety code requirements for 100 years. With the increase in human-made and natural events such as wildfires, floods, blast events, and hurricanes, the codes have responded by increasing the scope of events they intend to address. Like security, these requirements may often conflict with established priorities for life safety, even though the ultimate goal is preservation of life. 

In this session, we will address recent code requirements that have been added due to large loss events, as well as design features going above and beyond the minimum code requirements. We will discuss the effects on life safety and conflicts that arise between code-required and optional features. We will also explore how a first principles, holistic risk-based approach needs to be adopted to efficiently address heightened resiliency requirements in the built environment on life safety and code compliance. 

Qianru Guo, Consulting Engineer, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
David Jacoby, Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

A More Resilient New York City: Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities
New York City is a global leader in economic growth, diversity, sustainability, and resilience. Throughout history, the city has demonstrated a remarkable ability to recover from both natural and human-made disasters. However, as the city’s population continues to grow, its existing infrastructure ages, and the frequency of extreme events increases, enhanced planning and preparedness have become more critical to mitigate the impact of disruptive events and promote faster recovery of basic functions and services. 

This panel session will start by discussing existing community resilience initiatives and the progress made in the last two decades to improve the resilience of New York City. The conversation will address major challenges and opportunities associated with implementing resilience-based design and adaptation strategies for buildings and infrastructure. We will explore and evaluate the availability and adequacy of resilience metrics and discuss incorporating resilience concepts into new and retrofit facility design.

Ricardo Medina, Staff Consultant, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Douglas Fee, Vice President – Asset Quality, UDR
Robert Freudenberg, Vice President, Energy & Environment Program, Regional Plan Association
Guy Nordenson, Partner, Guy Nordenson and Associates
Eric Wilson, Deputy Director, Land Use & Buildings, New York City Mayor’s Office of Resiliency