The leaders of the green building movement are zeroing in on the issue of resiliency, seeing it as a more effective path to greater adoption of the green economy than ideas of sustainability. What is resiliency in terms of sustainable buildings? It is the idea that buildings and entire communities should be designed to bounce back from disastrous natural events, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes.
The folks at BuildingGreen have recently published several articles on the subject, arguing that the task of mitigating climate change is perhaps too big and overwhelming for the average person to gain motivation from it. Resiliency, on the other hand, is much more concrete and comprehensible, giving it greater potential to capture public attention.
The USGBC is also promoting the global resiliency agenda on a number of fronts to increase awareness about the impact of urban development. In particular, they are working with their partners on 15 demonstration projects focused in Africa to produce a geospatial database for the region to provide innovative new ways for the urban centers to share information, adopt different concepts, and implement solutions.
A new report by the University of Michigan and the US Green Building Council looks at the issue as well. Entitled Green Building and Climate Resilience: Understanding impacts and preparing for changing conditions, the report gives an overview of the physical impacts of climate change, including changes in temperature, precipitation, coastlines, pests, fires, and air quality. It also explores how buildings can be adapted to prepare using strategies like upgrading building envelopes; siting and landscape; heating, cooling, and lighting; water and waste; equipment; and process and operation.
See the USBGS’s talk on the subject in this video: Eye on Community Sustainability and Resiliency: Creating Smart Cities for the Future: