Facility Resilience: Challenges and Success Stories

Brian Cowperthwaite discusses his priorities and challenges in seeking to improve the resilience of the University of Chicago’s facilities.   February 22, 2023

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor

Are your facilities ready for the next emergency? As wildfires, hurricanes and coastal floods become more frequent and severe, maintenance and engineering managers involved in emergency preparedness and recovery for their organizations are rethinking their facilities’ resilience. The answer to the question depends on their ability to address a series of critical challenges, including assessing risks to facilities, securing needed financing to upgrade facilities, and effectively staffing maintenance and renovation activities designed to harden facilities to the next emergency. 

In this video, Brian Cowperthwaite, who is senior director of facility services, maintenance and operations with the University of Chicago, discusses resilience considerations and activities throughout the university’s campus facilities.

Among the takeaways from the conversation with Cowperthwaite are these: 

The toughest challenges in making plans to maximize the resilience of university facilities (4:36) 

Success stories in improving facility and campus resilience (6:42) 

Future priorities and projects that are designed to enhance facility resilience. (8:10) 

Watch next: 

Resilience and Maintenance: Roles and Responsibilities for Managers

Knowing Limitations and When to Ask Questions in Facilities Management

Dan Hounsell is senior editor of the facilities market. He has more than 25 years of experience writing about facilities maintenance, engineering and management. 


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