Designing for Disaster won a gold award in the architecture category in this year’s Independent Publisher Book Awards, known as the IPPYs. Written by Boyce Thompson for Schiffer Publishing, the book details how to design homes to resist the impact of climate change.
The competition regularly draws as many as 5,000 entries from 43 U.S. states and 15 countries. Roughly 2,400 publishers, including the best independent and university presses, participate in the awards each year. Judges in the competition look for books that take chances, that demonstrate new ways of thinking and publishing.
Designing for Disaster deviates from traditional architectural publishing formulas. Combining inspirational photography with direct instruction, it details methods for building homes to withstand the growing threat of hurricanes, fires, shifting earth, and tornadoes. Several homes in the book survived major natural disasters, including the Great Northern California Fires, Hurricane Irma, and the Category 5 tornado that struck Joplin, Mo.
“I’m very gratified to be recognized with this award,” said Boyce Thompson, whose other books include The New New Home, and Anatomy of a Great Home. “Schiffer took a chance on a book that looks frankly at a subject that can’t be ignored. Anyone building a home needs to carefully study how it will stand up to a growing threat from natural elements.”
Thompson found that local building codes often provide scant protection from major disasters. Government agencies, building scientists, and building organizations publish better guidance for building resilient homes. But many building professionals don’t know about it, much less routinely follow it.
“Home buyers need to set their own agenda,” said Thompson. “They need to ask their architect and builder to do the research and incorporate features that will protect their new home from local environmental threats. More and more homes require specialized engineering. The situation is only going to get more intense.”