Beyond Building Green: Resiliency Resources and Potential Requirements for Addressing Climate and Extreme Weather
Incorporating resiliency into the built environment is something architects and engineers are increasingly focusing on in the face of the threats posed by climate change. Both the insurance industry and evolving standards of care may also soon require engineers and architects to incorporate resiliency into their designs, even if individual professionals do not feel climate change issues need to be addressed in their building design.
Although incorporating resiliency in the face of climate change is a relatively new concept (sustainability and “building green” have been around much longer), in recent years, governments and industry groups at the international, national, state, and local level have provided guidance on how to address resiliency in response to the climate change and extreme weather events in the commercial and residential built environment. In addition, there are guidelines provided for specific industries, such as cyber, energy, and transportation.
Below are some of the guidelines that have been developed to assist professionals in incorporating resilience into the built environment, from the international to the local level as well as industry-specific guidance. A major takeaway from the list below (which is not exhaustive) is that every region and every industry needs to start thinking about resiliency, because climate change and its devastating effects can impact everything. And failure to think about resilience at the start of a project can lead to litigation after the end of the project. (Hate lawyers? Then reduce your chances of climate-change-related litigation).
- Global Resilience Guidelines: These guidelines are the end result of a three year cooperative effort undertaken by the International Code Council, the Australian Building Codes Board, the National Research Council of Canada, and the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The goal was to provide high-level principles that advice on how to best incorporate climate science into building codes to prepare for extreme weathers.
- ASTM’s Standard Guide for Climate Resiliency Planning and Strategy: ASTM International, comprised of more than 30,000 members from 150 countries, provides technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services. Its guide for climate resilience provides information related to adaptation strategies and how to develop plans to address extreme weather.
- FEMA Building Code Documents: FEMA’s building code website provides guidance on hazard-resistant provisions in building codes with the goal of building a more resilient nation.
- AIA Resiliency Resources: The American Institute of Architects provides programs and resources to assist design professions incorporate resilience into their designs, including hazard mitigation design resources and climate change adaption design resources.
State and Local Guidance
- Massachusetts’ Climate Resilience Design Guidelines
- Washington, D.C.’s Climate Ready DC Resilient Design Guidelines
- New York City’s Climate Resilience Design Guidelines
- Dep’t of Energy: Energy Resilience in the Public Sector
- Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Resilience Power Best Practices Factsheet
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Climate Resilient Infrastructure
- Arizona DOT and FWHA’s Resilience TSMO (transportation system management and operations)
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