Structures and communities built with an eye toward resilience are stronger, more self-sufficient and adaptable when challenging circumstances occur, such as climate change and severe weather events. When conditions change, our communities should be built to last.

Why resilience in the National Capital Region?

Ensuring our buildings and communities are strong and resilient is a USGBC advocacy priority. Did you know that in June 2014, USGBC joined six major organizations to create the Global Initiative on Urban Resilience, or GIUR? A national speaker's forum also was established for promoting strategic vision on resilient thinking.

"Green building should include both mitigation and adaptation strategies if we hope to shape the build environment in a way that is both responsive and resilient to future climate extremes," said a study published by USGBC that's about green building and climate resilience.

We have embraced USGBC national's advocacy of resilience as the central challenge of the 21st century. Our goal is to provide education on the financial and economic return on resilience investment; to connect businesses and community organizations to readily available resources; and to inspire strategic discussions as we all work to advance our thinking beyond mitigation (sustainable design) to adaptation (resilient-future).

Along with USGBC, we support: resilient buildings that allow communities to be ready for any foreseeable and unforeseeable crises, see what plans are on the table, what preparations need to be made and what assets are in place.

Voices on Resilience Speaker Series: The Convergence of Sustainability and Resilience

In 2015, our resilience education efforts focused on defining what resilience is and how it relates to sustainability.

To this end, we hosted two highly successful events. "The Business Case for Resilience" featured a dynamic panel of leaders, including USGBC President Roger Platt and Harriet Tregoning of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, who discussed the pressing need for climate resilience on all scales - from individuals to neighborhoods to entire regions. The second event, "Building for Climate Resilience: Adaptions & Strategies," provided concrete examples of resilience theory in action.

For 2016, USGBC-NCR will host two educational speaker events on resilience, one in April and the other in October. Building on our strong 2015 resilience programming, these events will feature a deeper dive into specific arenas of application for resilience theory, including an exploration of the new LEED v4 resilience pilot credits.

More information on these events will be posted shortly, so please check back. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact Emily English to learn more.

Guiding Pillars

These pillars link sustainable actions to their contribution toward a resilient future. Some examples for inspiration are outlined below.

  • Energy Security: Strategies to thrive using less in a world of fewer resources. Topics include: a resilient energy grid, conservation strategies, renewable energy technology.
  • Infrastructure Networks: Reliable infrastructure for essential services and resources that can operate under the worst conditions. Topics include: storm water management, waste management, transportation programs and partnerships.
  • Health and Wellness: Programs that promote healthy life-styles, help cope with stress, and that boost overall health. Topics include: resilient and accessible food sources, wellness programs, providing self-care opportunities.
  • Community: Groups that provide social equity, resource exchange, and effective risk communication. Topics include: livability, energy co-ops, resilient community planning
  • For further reading about resiliency and those who are helping contribute to the movement, check out these Voices on Resilience posts: