Resilience Gets Real

By Scott Kriner, Green Metal Consulting

Some believe that the topic of "Resilience" is the next movement within the design community, similar to what we have seen with sustainability over the years. There are many definitions of the term but the American Institute of Architects (AIA) defines resilience as the ability to respond to known and unknown risks and successfully adapt to changes caused by shocks and stresses in the built environment.

While Sustainable building design was the focus of many in the design community, over the last seven years the architectural firm of Perkins +Will was working to create a project rating system similar to LEED but with added emphasis on resiliency. That program is now known as RELi. [pronounced rely]

RELi was developed with a collaborative that included Perkins+Will ,the C3 Living Design Project, and the University of Minnesota School of Architecture.

Some of the categories in the RELi program include:

  • Panoramic approach
  • Hazard preparedness
  • Hazard adaption
  • Community vitality

RELi combines a comprehensive action list with an integrative process called the Living Design approach.

The rating system has been recognized in several areas.

RELi was cited in President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget for providing finances to support community resilience. The Rockefeller Foundation‘s 100 Resilient Cities project also refers to RELi . And the AIA and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) support the program for promoting resilient-designed buildings and communities.

In the RELi program they seek to "use resilient design for a changing world." This includes “design for buildings and communities that are shock resistant, healthy, adaptable and regenerative through a combination of diversity, foresight and the capacity for self-organization and learning.”

With the timely development of RELi, it is no wonder that the U.S. Green Building Council recently adopted RELi as a resiliency standard to eventually be incorporated into the LEED program. That news was announced in November at the GreenBuild Conference and Expo in Boston.

Scott Kriner is the president and founder of Green Metal Consulting Inc. He is a LEED Accredited Professional who began his career in the metal construction industry in 1981. His company is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, the California Association of Building Energy Consultants and the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).

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