Resilient buildings standard rises to LEED level

Sources: Perkins+Will, Chicago; CP staff

The U.S. Green Building Council formally adopted the Resilient Building and Design Standard, RELi, during the 2017 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston. Paralleling USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design series, the standard is billed as a prescriptive roadmap to help architects, businesses, city planners, developers and governments design buildings, neighborhoods, and communities to better withstand natural disaster shocks and stressors.

RELi has evolved under American National Standards Institute-defined consensus methods at the hands of global architecture firm Perkins+Will and a closely allied collective, C3 Living Design; plus, Capital Markets Partnership, a coalition of investment interests, cities, state agencies, and green-building stakeholders created by Market Transformation to Sustainability (MTS), a Washington, D.C., 501(c)(3). They approved RELi National Consensus Standard Version 1.0 in 2014.

USGBC adoption positions RELi as a global, points-based rating system independent of LEED but similarly administered by the Council’s Green Business Certification, Inc. subsidiary. “We’re seeing the merging of thought leadership from some of the world's most progressive designers and thinkers with the global organizing capacity of the USGBC,” says Perkins+Will Resilience Research Lab and RELi Principal Investigator Doug Pierce.

“Resilience planning and adaptation are some of the most expensive public and private activities in U.S. history,” adds MTS CEO Mike Italiano. “Independent research shows that the U.S. has tens of trillions of dollars in resilience costs. When applied to buildings, homes, and infrastructure, our national consensus standard can greatly reduce unprecedented costs and risks.”