The United Nations, climate change, and resilient design: a day at the U.N. World Habitat conferenceRead More
The report just released by the Buildings Resiliency Task Force presents 33 detailed recommendations for improving the resiliency of New York City buildings.Read More
Editor’s note: Tom Phillips and I have been corresponding about the risks of temperature extremes, and I invited him to put together an article on the topic so that others could benefit from his research. I am posting that here. -Alex Wilson Floods and ice storms cause some...Read More
The Resilient Design Institute held a retreat of our Advisory Board in March and, among other issues, addressed how to describe resilience. Out of that discussion emerged the Resilient Design Principles, which I am posting here. Consider this a working draft that will evolve...Read More
We’ve just come across a very thoughtful article by Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros called “Toward Resilient Architectures 1: Biology Lessons” in MetropolisMag. Mehaffy and Salingaros draw a number of lessons from biological systems and use them to draw...Read More
Climate-change-related disasters threaten industry profitability, and may drive less-prepared companies from a variety of asset and risk classes. A reduction in the availability and affordability of insurance and risk management services can threaten the economy...Read More
My interest in resilience was first kindled by work I did with many others in 2005, following Hurricane Katrina. Seeing the devastation wrought on the Gulf Coast by this storm, several chapters of the U.S. Green Building Council, particularly St. Louis and Little Rock, wanted to...Read More
— Terry Brennan, Westmoreland, New York, quoted in the Environmental Building News feature article, "Passive Survivability: A New Design Criterion for Buildings," May, 2006
Resilience is the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain or regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance. It is the capacity to bounce back after a disturbance or interruption of some sort.
At various levels —individuals, households, communities, and regions — through resilience we can maintain livable conditions in the event of natural disasters, loss of power, or other interruptions in normally available services.
Relative to climate change, resilience involves adaptation to the wide range of regional and localized impacts that are expected with a warming planet: more intense storms, greater precipitation, coastal and valley flooding, longer and more severe droughts in some areas, wildfires, melting permafrost, warmer temperatures, and power outages.
Resilient design is the intentional design of buildings, landscapes, communities, and regions in response to the these vulnerabilities. As used by the Resilient Design Institute, resilient design focuses on practical, on-the-ground solutions to these vulnerabilities.
The RDI team consists of dedicated professionals with long experience and expertise in the fields of sustainability, green building, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture.
Our founding board of directors consists of the following (click here for extended bios):
Alex Wilson, founder of BuildingGreen, Inc., an 18-person company serving the design and construction industry with non-biased information on environmentally responsible design and construction since 1985 (…more)
Vern Grubinger, coordinator of USDA’s Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (…more)
Ralph Meima, founding director of the Marlboro College MBA in Managing for Sustainability (…more)
Jim Newman, founder and the director of metrics at Linnean Solutions (…more)
John Singer, general manager of BuildingGreen, Inc. (…more)
Daniel Slone, partner at McGuireWoods, LLP (…more)
Jerelyn Wilson, outreach director and manager of campus accounts at BuildingGreen, Inc. (…more)
Scot Horst, senior vice president of the U.S. Green Building Council (…more)
We also draw upon the deep experience of our advisory board.
The Resilient Design Institute (RDI) advances practical solutions that can be employed by communities, businesses, and individuals to adapt and thrive amid the accelerating social, ecological, and climatological change being experienced today.
The Resilient Design Institute was founded to advance the many facets of resilience at personal, community, and regional scales. RDI will focus on the built environment, energy, food, infrastructure, and economic systems, as well as on the organizations and institutions that manage and support these systems. The Institute is concerned both with catastrophic events, such as storms, floods, fires, and sudden power outages, and with long-term shifts like drought, rising temperatures, and economic dislocation. The institute will maintain a website on resilient design, sponsor think-tank retreats on topics related to resilience, publish white papers, and provid consulting services related to resilience.
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