Resilience Building Coalition Releases Progress Report and Guiding Principles

The American Institute of Architects (AIA), National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and 38 other leaders of America’s design and construction industry released a report on progress made on the resilience front since the Resilience Building Coalition announced the Building Industry Statement on Resilience two years ago.

The Resilience Building Coalition also released a set of guiding principles to help the building industry adopt resilient design and policies. These include developing and advocating for codes and policies that advance resilience; developing “whole-systems resilient design” approaches for the built environment; and providing guidance, beyond the baseline life-safety codes, that recognizes the importance of fortifying property for individual and community resilience. Since the initial signing, the coalition has added 19 new signatories (a complete list is available at the end of this release).

The report includes results from a survey of signatories about how their work has been impacted by the Building Industry Statement on Resilience. Among the survey’s major findings:

  • A majority of signatories report that they have “become more aware of their unique role in achieving resilience” since committing to the statement, which has clearly catalyzed the integration of resilience goals into existing organizational frameworks.
  • Almost 30 percent of respondents have seen an increase in resilience as a priority within their organizations.
  • More than two-thirds of respondents listed high-performance buildings as an initiative they were most interested in advancing.
  • More than half of the responding signatories have used the Statement to “advance their organizational mission statement/values,” as well as “provide support and/or validation for moving forward on organization initiatives.” This shift in organizational priorities has led to concrete action.

Respondents reported more than 40 initiatives they have begun that support the resilience focus areas committed to in the Statement. The National Institute of Building Sciences’ own Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC) and Council on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (CFIRE) jointly developed a white paper, entitled Developing Pre-Disaster Resilience Based on Public and Private Incentivization, to address the need for a coordinated approach among a broad spectrum of stakeholders. In addition, the MMC is in the process of revisiting its well-known 2005 Mitigation Saves study, which looked at public-sector investment, to study the significant benefits that can be achieved from investing in mitigation at the private-sector level.

The Coalition report, Preparing to Thrive: The Building Industry Statement on Resilience, is an outgrowth of a landmark agreement made in May 2014, in which leaders of America’s design and construction industry agreed to promote resilience in contemporary planning, building materials, design, construction and operational techniques as the solution for making the nation’s aging infrastructure more safe and secure.

“It is an especially opportune time that today, the very day the White House held a Conference on Building Code Resilience, is the day that we are releasing this report,” says National Institute of Building Sciences President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA. “Improving the nation’s resilience requires the commitment of the U.S. building industry, the federal government and the nation’s communities. I am proud to see the organizational progress the members of the Building Resilience Coalition have made in just two years. Yet, it is imperative for the safety of the nation’s citizens that we continue to stay the course to reach critical resilience goals.”

The list of organizations who have signed the joint statement on resilience is as follows (new organizations are marked with an asterisk):

  • The Air Barrier Association of America*
  • American Council of Engineering Companies
  • American Institute of Architects
  • American Planning Association
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • American Society of Interior Designers
  • American Society of Landscape Architects
  • American Society of Plumbing Engineers
  • American Wood Council*
  • Associated Builders and Contractors
  • Associated General Contractors of America
  • BuildStrong Coalition*
  • Building Owners and Managers Association
  • Congress for New Urbanism*
  • Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute*
  • Construction Specifications Institute*
  • EcoDistricts*
  • Federal Alliance for Safe Homes*
  • Green Building Initiative*
  • Illuminating Engineering Society*
  • Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety*
  • International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials*
  • International Code Council
  • International Facility Management Association
  • International Interior Design Association
  • Lean Construction Institute
  • National Association of Home Builders
  • National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies*
  • National Concrete Masonry Association*
  • National Fire Protection Association*
  • National Institute of Building Sciences
  • National Insulation Association*
  • National Ready Mixed Concrete Association*
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • Portland Cement Association*
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • U.S. Green Building Council
  • U.S. Resiliency Council*
  • Urban Land Institute

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