Resiliency has become a buzzword in sustainability circles and the green industry. Although used often, resiliency has many connotations and means different things. Recently, resiliency has been paired alongside climate change. According to the Resilient Design Institute, resilience is “the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain or regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance.” In the context of architectural design, resiliency refers to the design intent of ensuring a structure’s ability to withstand environmental, sociopolitical, financial, and cultural impacts.
When contemplating resilient design, more and more questions continue to emerge. How should design best practices and standards be revised if 100-year storms are now happening every 10 years? It is a good question to ask, but is weather the biggest adversary in the pursuit of resilience? Or are there other factors one needs to ‘future-proof’ the buildings from?