New “LEED for resilience” certification proposed

With resiliency continuing to gain momentum as a framework for personal, community, and national planning, it’s not surprising to hear that a new building standard has been proposed that will encourage architects to design projects in ways that can “better withstand shocks such as super storms, sea-level rise, drought, heat waves or even longer-simmering social unrest.”

“Resiliency is the next step in the entire green ecological design framework,” says Doug Pierce, who developed the RELi Green + Resilient Property Underwriting Standard, a collaboration between Capital Markets Partnership and the design firm Perkins and Wills. offers a good summary of the program, which includes several core requirements, including energy and water efficiency, along with many areas in which buildings can get credits, such as rainwater harvesting and food production:

The result is a framework that is broad in scope, like the emerging discipline of resilience itself, incorporating environmental risks such as climate change and resource scarcity alongside issues such as food security, grid reliability and social cohesion.

The idea is fleshed out a bit more in this Finance & Commerce article, which notes the incorporation of LEED and other current design standards, while going further to enhance resiliency.  In a Q&A there, Pierce offers the example of Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Missouri:

Several people were killed in the hospital during a tornado (in 2011). The building was destroyed. They used resiliency strategies in the new hospital in response to a tornado — some of the windows are hardened enough to take a projectile going 250 mph. They improved the durability of corridors so they could become a safe haven.

These resiliency features added just 3-4% to the building cost, while reducing insurance costs for years to come.

The RELi standard is still in the pilot phase, with the District of Columbia and several hospitals considering its adoption; Standard & Poor’s, which plans to factor climate preparedness into its ratings, is also taking a close look at RELi.


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