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.
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.
Resiliency and the Rural/Urban Interface
The 2018 Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting
July 19, 2018 • Noon–3:00PM
100 5th Street NE, Charlottesville, VA 22902
$20.00 for members; $25.00 for non-members.
Become a Member Registration Closed View the Agenda
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.
Resilient Virginia is teaming with groups around the Commonwealth to offer the following events:
July 17: Collaborations on Flooding Adaptation
Tuesday, July 17 • 12 noon–1:30pm • Damuth Trane, 1100 Cavalier Boulevard, Chesapeake, Virginia
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.
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 latest survey from George Mason University’s Center for Climate Communication reveals that the number of Americans “very worried” about global warming has reached a record high since first measured in 2008.
A majority of Americans (63%) say they are “very” or “somewhat” worried about the issue. Likewise, Americans increasingly view global warming as a threat. Since Spring 2015, more Americans think it will harm them personally, their own family, people in the U.S., people in developing countries, and future generations.
You can read the full survey report here.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference, the 23rd annual “Conference of Parties” (or COP23) took place in Bonn, Germany, November 6–17, 2017.
The 2017 National Climate Assessment (NCA) Climate Science Special Report (Volume 1) was released on November 3, 2017. The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.
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.
Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication
In the wake of a contentious U.S. election and despite the election of a president who has publicly described global warming as a hoax, Americans are increasingly sure global warming is happening, according to this national survey conducted after the presidential election (November–December 2016). The report includes many other interesting results, including measures of public feelings of anger, fear, and hope about global warming and the frames by which Americans conceptualize the issue (e.g., as an environmental, scientific, political, moral, or religious issue).
View the report here.
The mission of the Intergovernmental Planning Pilot Project, from Old Dominion University’s Center for Sea Level Rise, is to develop a regional “whole of government” and “whole of community” approach to sea level rise preparedness and resilience planning in Hampton Roads that also can be used as a template for other regions. View the Pilot Project Charter for an in-depth look at the Pilot Project’s intentions.
“Phase 2 Report: Recommendations, Accomplishments and Lessons Learned” was published in October 2016, and can be viewed here.
Find out more about the Center for Sea Level Rise’s continuing activities at www.centerforsealevelrise.org.
from the Climate Ready DC draft report
Cities across the country and around the globe are recognizing their responsibility to prepare for a changing climate, and the District of Columbia is no exception. In recent years, we have seen how climate change is already impacting us with recordbreaking heat waves, flooding caused by rising sea levels and heavy rains, and the destructive 2012 derecho storm. These events are sobering reminders that without action, increasingly severe weather events will threaten to disrupt our power grid, harm our economy, and cost lives.
Recognizing the need to prepare and adapt, the Sustainable DC Plan established a goal to make the District more resilient to future climate change. Climate Ready DC is the District’s strategy for achieving this goal while helping to ensure that our city continues to grow greener, healthier, and more livable.
For the last two years, various stakeholders and the District government—led by the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE)—have been working with a team of technical experts to develop Climate Ready DC. This plan identifies the impacts that a changing climate will have on the District; the risks to our infrastructure, public facilities, and neighborhoods; and the actions we must take now and in the future to prepare. It is based on the best available climate science and was developed through consultation with leading experts within and outside of the District government.
View the draft Climate Ready DC online.
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.
This 2016 report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows compelling and clear evidence of long-term changes to our climate and highlights impacts on human health and the environment in the United States and around the world.
The report features observed trend data on 37 climate indicators, including U.S and global temperatures, ocean acidity, sea level, river flooding, droughts and wildfires.
Click here to view the report online, or visit the EPA website to explore the indicators for climate change.
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.
In this climate risk assessment published in June 2014, co-chairs Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson Jr. and Thomas Steyer present the details and economic costs of inaction in the face of climate change. The Risky Business report cites the short-term climate threats presented in the U.S. and the specific economic risks they pose to differing regions and sectors. In the report, climate change is likened to “Nature’s Interest-Only Loan” in order to express the economic impact the changing global environment will have in the future. Bloomberg, Paulson and Steyer conclude the risk assessment report with risk management steps to be taken in order to reduce exposure to the economic risks from climate change.
The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Virginia State University produced this publication in 2014 outlining climate-related challenges facing agriculture and some options for mitigating and adapting to them. Included in the publication are adaptation strategies and conservation techniques touching on soil water-holding capacity, tillage, crop rotations, drainage, irrigation, nitrogen use, and buffers. The online PDF version of the publication is available through the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
The Colorado Resiliency Framework 2016 Annual Plan is an extension of the Colorado Resiliency Framework that was adopted in 2015. This plan details how the Colorado Resiliency Working Group will achieve the goals laid out in the framework, mainly via resiliency-focused projects in the community, economic, health and social, housing, infrastructure, watershed and natural resources sectors.