Last edited 22 Feb 2021

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BRE Group Researcher Website

Building Back Better: Resilience



[edit] Introduction

In its work to provide resources for the construction sector, BREEAM has created the online briefing hub, ‘Building Back Better with BREEAM: Supporting the green recovery’. The hub gathers a collection of briefing papers that reflect BREEAM’s position on important issues.

[edit] Resilience

The BREEAM vision for a fair and appropriate built environment is one that demonstrates social sensitivity in a manner that benefits long-term economic growth, wellbeing, resilience and inclusion. To reflect this vision, BREEAM has published a briefing paper, 'Encouraging resilient assets using BREEAM'.

The paper identifies resilience as something more than just surviving events that may cause physical damage or create business disruptions. It is defined as ‘the capacity of built assets and infrastructure to endure acute shocks and chronic stresses while successfully adapting to long-term changes’.

BREEAM Director Shamir Ghumra stresses the significance of resilience during times of turmoil, saying; “...instilling resilience in response to physical, social and transition risks is becoming a priority, as part of a risk management mechanism that can protect people, property and the planet.”

[edit] The Four Rs of resilience

The briefing paper outlines a vision for a built environment in which resilience is integrated into assets that are sustainable, and beneficial to the environment and to the health and wellbeing of those who use them. It can be demonstrated through four key features, arranged in the order in which they are being incorporated into the BREEAM family of standards:

  1. Resistance. Preventing damage or disruption by providing the strength or protection to resist the hazard or its primary impact.
  2. Reliability. Designing assets or systems to operate under a range of set conditions in order to mitigate damage or loss from an event.
  3. Redundancy. Making available backup installations or spare capacity to enable operations to be switched or diverted to alternative parts of the system in the event of disruption to ensure continuity of service.
  4. Response and recovery. Enabling a fast and effective response to, and recovery from, disruptive events.

[edit] Future thinking

BREEAM intends to continue its work integrating resilience across its standards and supporting a whole life performance approach for projects. The goal is to ensure resilience can be achieved across life cycles by linking the design, construction and performance of the completed project and the use of the asset once it is occupied.

BREEAM also hopes to identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will support and demonstrate how resilience is achieved through application. For instance, incorporating measures combating natural hazards and reducing the probability of flooding in high risk areas.

Find out more at:

--BRE Group

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