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  • Writer's pictureMolly Jones

Guiding Principle 6: Assess and Consider Building Resilience

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

This is a weekly series for 6 weeks reviewing the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings and Associated Instructions.


Guiding Principle six is about assessing and considering building resilience. Two guiding principles fall into this category.


6.1 Risk Assessment


With this Guiding Principle, you’ll want to ensure that you can protect the long-term mission and critical nature of the building and operations that are housed in the building. You’ll want to identify current and future regional risks to ensure the building and operations stay in place. It’s also imperative to reduce the potential vulnerability of the building to those risks.


But it's more than just the building.


There are resiliency issues if we can’t get to or from the building. Look beyond the building walls and have conversions about the access to and from the building. Our team asks for a copy of the drafted risk assessment.


Next, you’ll want to address the hazards, threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences the building will face.


There are 3 options for risk assessment:

  1. Conduct a regionally tailored risk assessment.

    1. Do the relevant stressors exacerbate the hazards and risks?

    2. Does the building have adaptive capacity?

    3. Will it perform the way it needs to perform in an emergency?

    4. Will the building remain operational during a risk event?

  2. Evaluate and integrate the building and planned activities to be housed there.

  3. Utilize the Federal Climate Resilience Planning Tools to inform decision-making and design for your project.



6.2 Building Resilience and Adaptation

While 6.1 is about the assessment, 6.2 is about building resilience itself.


Once the assessment has been completed, you’ll want to ensure everything has been implemented. The items that are no cost or cost-effective should be prioritized.


The design documents and design analysis should clearly state how the building resilience and adaptation through the project have been addressed. It’s also important to note how you anticipate the building will perform in the event of a hazard.





For more information on this principle or the guidelines for modernization projects, refer to the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings and Associated Instructions.


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