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Session Details

Beyond Death, Dollars and Downtime: Exploring Functional Recovery for BC

29 September 2020

Webinar Format
Dialogue Session

Short Presentations, Extended Q & A



Hear from a panel of practitioners, local and US-based, how they are thinking about and implementing performance-based approaches to enhancing resilience in the built environment and how this influences recovery trajectories. This session is hosted in collaboration with the local chapter of EERI (EERI-BC), featuring this year’s distinguished lecturer, David Bonowitz.

The dialogue will be grounded in practical examples from our local context (e.g. rezoning for St. Paul's redevelopment, Strathcona School, UBC resilience planning) but also include global examples (e.g. 181 Fremont in San Francisco, ARUP guidelines).

This session should appeal to anyone who has an interest in building resilience in Southwest BC: engineers, architects, planners, developers, builders, code officials, etc.

Discussion Questions

  • How do we best integrate multihazard risk considerations into the same buildings/ development projects? What are the successful examples of doing this and potential challenges that were overcome? 

  • Have you learned any lessons from working with/applying the LEED resilience pilot credits? 

  • How do we both take advantage of site specific opportunities (e.g. 181 Fremont and St. Paul’s) but also take a more holistic, neighborhood and regional scale approach with regards to implementing performance-based standards that support functional recovery? 



  • Moderated by: Micah Hilt (City of Vancouver, Lead Seismic Policy Planner)

  • David Bonowitz (EERI distinguished lecturer for 2020, and leading structural engineer practicing in San Francisco)

  • ​Angie Woo (Climate Resilience and Adaptation Lead, Fraser Health Authority)

  • John Sherstobitoff (Principal- Seismic & Structures at Ausenco, Chair of NBCC Standing Committee on Earthquake Design and Founding President of EERI-BC)

  • Ibbi Almufti (Associate Principal/Risk and resilience Leader, ARUP)

About Contributors

David Bonowitz, Structural Engineer

David Bonowitz is a structural engineer practicing in San Francisco. Speaking on "Functional Recovery: What it Means to Design for Community Resilience," he is the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute's Distinguished Lecturer for 2020. Bonowitz is an appointed member of the new FEMA-NIST working group on Functional Recovery of the Built Environment and Critical Infrastructure. He is a co-author of “Functional Recovery: A Conceptual Framework,” a 2019 EERI white paper, and lead author of “Resilience-based Design and the NEHRP Provisions,” published in 2020 by FEMA and the National Institute of Building Sciences. Bonowitz is also a Fellow Member of SEAONC and SEAOC, and past chair of the NCSEA Existing Buildings and Resilience committees.

Angie Woo, Climate Resilience & Adaptation Lead, Fraser Health

In partnership with BC's regional health authorities, allied public sector organisations (including BC Housing's MBAR project), and intrepid professional services firms (such as Integral Group), Angie is developing guidelines to reduce climate risks to health services and communities of care through the health facility planning and design process. As Climate Resilience & Adaptation Lead (Fraser Health, Providence Health Care, Provincial Health Services Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health), Angie seeks to normalise the use of climate hazard risk information and leverage collective practices to break the chain of cascading impacts on the broader health system and those it serves.

John Sherstobitoff, Principal, Ausenco

John is a structural engineer with over 30 years of experience related to the seismic analysis and design of both buildings and infrastructure, both new and regarding seismic upgrades. He has been a member of the Standing Committee on Earthquake Design (SCED), National Building Code of Canada, for over 15 years and was Chair of SCED for 10 years. Within SCED he is Chair of the Task Group on Performance Based and Resilient Design, and Chair of the Working Group on Seismic Isolation and Supplemental Energy Dissipation; in these roles he has championed new clauses in recent codes related to these items, most recently a new section regarding ‘higher performance’ requirements for new buildings.

Ibbi Almufti, Associate Principal, Arup

Ibbi Almufti is an Associate Principal in the Advanced Technology + Research group in Arup’s San Francisco office where he leads the Risk and Resilience practice. Ibbi works at the intersection of design, risk, and resilience across multiple scales from buildings to campuses to utility infrastructure. He leads a multidisciplinary team which helps corporate, higher education, data center, healthcare, and government clients understand the physical and business impacts of natural and man-made hazards and develops resilience strategies integrating physical and operational measures to reduce risk. His specializations include probabilistic risk analysis, performance-based design, nonlinear seismic analysis, and risk-based resilience advisory. Over the past several years he has been supporting the University of British Columbia, most recently by developing a seismic real estate framework and resilience-based design guidelines to achieve the campus’ resilience vision.

Micah Hilt, City of Vancouver Lead Seismic Policy Planner

Micah Hilt is the City of Vancouver’s Lead Seismic Policy Planner within the Green and Resilient Building group of the City’s Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability department. Micah was also part of the City’s resilience team who authored Vancouver’s first resilience strategy, Resilient Vancouver, in 2019. Prior to joining the City, Micah served as the Deputy Resilience Officer for the City of San Francisco, working on San Francisco's 30-year Earthquake Safety Implementation Program. He is also a PhD student in the Geography Department at the University of British Columbia, researching urban resilience, urban theory and queer approaches to the urban.