I thought of passive survivability as a smart design criterion that could provide another motivation for creating energy-efficient and environmentally responsible buildings. In a future of more intense storms that could cause extended power outages, with an ever-present risk of terrorism that could target energy distribution networks, and with higher energy costs and the prospect of fuel and water shortages, it makes sense to design homes and apartment buildings—along with certain other public-use buildings, such as schools and community centers—so that they will maintain livable conditions in the event of extended power outages or loss of heating fuel or water. Passive survivability can be achieved with such features as a highly insulating building envelope, passive-solar design, cooling-load avoidance, and natural ventilation.

(from: Alex Wilson, EBN. Read full article here.)