Shelter from storms

Discussion at last month’s Greenbuild Expo, held in San Francisco, centered on making the West Coast an example for sustainable living from the ground up. The expo brings together industry professionals from construction and architecture to discuss innovations in green building and technology.

According to a report on online environmental news site Grist, the West Coast “is slated to spend more than $1 trillion on infrastructure over the next 30 years.” In response to this news, the main question of the expo was, “Will it be spent throwing good money after bad on ill-suited, outdated structures, or will it be invested in more resilient, climate-smart alternatives?”

The expo took place as Superstorm Sandy ravaged the East Coast and left thousands of people without electricity, to which attendees agreed that “smart infrastructure choices need to (a) move us toward lower-carbon energy and transportation systems and (b) be able to stand up to increasingly intense weather temperatures, heightened risk of wildfire and rising sea levels,” the report stated.

While Superstorm Sandy itself can’t be attributed to climate change, scientists suggest that an increase in global temperatures will result in more frequent natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods and wildfires.