RELi, the U.S. Green Building Council’s new standard for projects designed to endure and recover from extreme weather, is a national consensus standard. It was developed through an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process, and focuses on creating resilient buildings and communities.
RELi (pronounced ‘rely’) is a comprehensive response to the urgent need for resilience in design and planning. Maintaining a reasonable level of safety and quality in our day-to-day lives now requires that we collectively respond to weather extremes, economic disruptions, and resource depletions — all of which are becoming commonplace globally, regionally, and locally. Resilience involves interactive social, economic, and environmental elements that respond to both acute short-term and systemic long-term topics related to the well-being of our society and planet.
USGBC and GBCI have now adopted the RELI standard. GBCI and the RELi resilience standard will work together to develop buildings and communities that offer greater adaptability and resilience to weather and natural disasters.
RELi’s development was led foundationally by the global architecture firm of Perkins+Will, with Eaton Corporation, Deloitte Consulting, and Impact Infrastructure providing vital content expertise and critical assessment.
For more information on RELi, click here to view the RELi handbook online, or click here for information on a Resiliency Education Series event featuring Dan Slone.
Resilient Virginia is teaming with groups around the Commonwealth to offer the following events:
Skip Stiles from Wetlands Watch will present on the Collaborative Laboratory on Sea Level Rise and Flooding Adaptation — “Collaboratory” — a program to bring university programs with a community-based learning component (senior design/practicum/capstone studio, etc.) into the tidal localities in Virginia to work on practical approaches to adapting to increased flooding from rain and tides.
The effort is a partnership between Virginia Sea Grant, the U.S. Green Building Council, and Wetlands Watch (a Norfolk-based environmental organization) and has been running for three years. The goal is to help localities find solutions while students gain real-world expertise in the growing area of practice around climate change/sea level rise. Past projects have generated many millions of dollars in implementation funding and participating students are gaining employment.
July 19: Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting
You are invited to Resilient Virginia’s July 19th Annual Meeting to hear more details about upcoming Resilient Virginia activities, to meet our Board and Advisory members, and to add your voice on local communities’ and state agencies’ resiliency priorities.
We will share more details about this upcoming event in the near future!
Resilient Virginia invites your active support for these new initiatives by:
▪ Volunteering (contact Annette Osso to join a Planning Committee or contribute to our newsletters),
▪ Becoming a Member or Annual Sponsor.
August 25: PrepareAthon
Saturday, August 25 • Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond
Celebrate preparedness during PrepareAthon, a free festival that teaches the community how to be more resilient when disaster strikes! Uncover life-saving information to protect your family during an emergency and learn more about resiliency. Local experts will discuss the impacts of climate change on human health, the environment and the Chesapeake Bay. Explore resiliency-themed climate change activities in the Museum, including NOAA Science on a Sphere® demonstrations, hands-on experiments in Eco Lab and beyond.
Find Out More
The United Nations Climate Change Conference, the 23rd annual “Conference of Parties” (or COP23) took place in Bonn, Germany, November 6–17, 2017.
Recent studies have pointed out the economic costs of rising temperatures, increased sea levels, and extreme weather events — all factors associated with climate change impact in the Southeast United States.
Costs of Doing Nothing: Economic Consequences of Not Adapting to Sea Level Rise in the Hampton Roads Region, a 2016 report from Virginia Coastal Policy Center, College of William & Mary Law School, narrows down the data to the Hampton Roads area. This report looks at several scenarios for sea level rise and the economic consequences.
by Maureen Roskoski, CFM, SFP, LEED AP O+M,
Senior Professional, Corporate Sustainability Officer
Facility Engineering Associates
Business Resilience is the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to business disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations. Business resilience planning provides guidance for ensuring the ability to respond, resume, and restore to a pre-determined level of operation following a disruption. At FEA, we help our clients strive for resilience through comprehensive planning that takes a holistic and long-term view of the threats and their individual enterprise in order to ensure that the business is prepared to avoid, mitigate, and recover from adverse events. But, what were we doing ourselves? Were we walking the talk?
PrepareAthon 2016 took place August 27, 2016, and offered participants activities and information focused on emergency preparedness; sustainable lifestyle options such as energy saving homes, local food, healthy lifestyles, and stormwater; and adaptation strategies such as installing solar or wind systems. Local emergency responders, including Richmond Fire and Emergency Services and Red Cross representatives, were available, and hands-on workshops — for example, build your own emergency preparedness kit or rain barrel — and a variety of hands-on activities for children and adults were part of the event.
A 2014 research report developed by Grosvenor quantified the resilience of the world’s most important 50 cities based on two criteria: vulnerability and adaptive capability. The Resilient Cities Report collected independent data and created a scale on which to place each of the 50 cities. The results Canadian cities in the top three, with U.S. cities following. A notable conclusion can also be made from the highest forecast population growth occurring in the least resilient cities from the list.
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) produced a report in November 2015 that expanded upon climate impacts addressed in the American Climate Prospectus. The report includes estimates on climate change’s effects on infrastructure, tourism, ecosystems, agriculture, water resources, and human health. Furthermore, the report speaks on the costs of inaction. The report concludes that risks and costs grow with increasing severity of climate change impacts and can be significantly reduced via immediate mitigation actions.