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Defining Resilience in LEED v5

With the impacts of climate change and weather related disasters intensifying, it’s imperative that we do something to increase resiliency in the built environment. Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design (LEED), a third-party certification available for homes, buildings and communities, is widely recognized for its focus on sustainable and environmentally responsible building practices, and resilience is a clear extension of this work.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), USGBC has adopted the definition of resilience established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: “the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events.” This definition encompasses various aspects of building performance, from ensuring business continuity during disruptions and disturbances to responding effectively during emergencies.

The Future of LEED principles provide a foundation for the next versions of the LEED rating systems that specifically addresses resilience: Inspire and recognize adaptive and resilient built environments.

In the draft of the first of the LEED v5 rating systems to be released, LEED for Operations and Maintenance: Existing Buildings, credits addressing resilience fall into two categories:

  • Credits explicitly, directly and primarily focused on resilience
  • Credits explicitly but secondarily focused on resilience

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