We should continue to strive for buildings that don’t require mechanical cooling—which usually means starting with an exceptionally well-insulated building envelope—but we need to be realistic also by providing for mechanical cooling.Read More
While implementing various measures to keep floodwater out of a building may seem like a no-brainer, there are actually some very significant limitations and risks.Read More
Orienting panels to the west to catch the setting sun—at the time usage peaks—might make solar power more valuable even if less total electricity would be generated.Read More
I came away optimistic that the attendees in the room weren’t going to simply sit by and wait for action; they were going to make it happen.Read More
In my opinion, there’s no more useful resource out there to help us understand flood hazards in coastal locations.Read More
Letting floodwaters into a building is an important resilience measure, but it has to be done in a way that prevents damage.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.
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 these vulnerabilities. As used by the Resilient Design Institute, resilient design focuses on practical, on-the-ground solutions.
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 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)
Scot Horst, senior vice president of the U.S. Green Building Council (…more)
Martin Langeveld, independent marketing consultant (…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)
Daniel Slone, partner at McGuireWoods, LLP (…more)
Jerelyn Wilson, outreach director and manager of campus accounts at BuildingGreen, Inc. (…more)
We also draw upon the deep experience of our advisory board.
The Resilient Design Institute (RDI) creates solutions that enable buildings and communities to survive and thrive in the face of climate change, natural disasters and other disruptions.
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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