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Last edited 23 Dec 2020
Resilience is the ability to adapt and respond to changing conditions while maintaining functionality.
Resilience to climate change, involves adaptation to possible impacts such as; intense storms, greater precipitation, increased flooding, longer and more severe droughts, melting permafrost, wildfires, warmer temperatures, more power outages, and so on.
The SuDS Manual published by CIRIA in 2015 defines climate resilience as: ‘The capacity of a system to cope with a hazardous climate event or trend or disturbance, responding or reorganising in ways that maintain (or recover) its essential function, identity and structure, while also maintaining the capacity for adaptation.’
'Encouraging resilient assets using BREEAM' defines resilience as ‘the capacity of built assets and infrastructure to endure acute shocks and chronic stresses while successfully adapting to long-term changes’.
 Principles of resilience
- Identifying hazards.
- Assessing vulnerabilities.
- Analysing scenarios and impacts.
- Establishing performance targets.
- Assessing how resilient interventions can create value in terms of underwriting building operations and mitigating harm.
- Balancing costs and long-term value over the intended service life.
- Developing lines of communication about potential hazards to build resilience between owners, operators and users.
- Designing and building structures that can accommodate the anticipated impacts of change.
- Strengthening critical systems to withstand extreme weather.
- Using future climatic conditions to model design solutions rather than relying on past data.
- Designing structures that will remain habitable in the event of power or energy loss.
- Building in manual overrides to reduce dependence on complex building controls and systems.
- Optimising on-site renewable energy supply.
- Rainwater harvesting.
- Composting toilets and water-less urinals.
- Selecting materials and components that will not present a hazard in the event of damage.
- Combining tested vernacular design practices with modern materials and techniques.
- Building social structures that strengthen the community, such as gathering spaces, communal gardens, and so on.
- Minimising reliance on fuels sourced from a distance.
- Reducing the urban heat island effect
- Managing stormwater.
- Designing resilience into communications infrastructure.
- Encouraging community education programmes to instil greater understanding.
 Regions and ecosystems
- Maintaining and protect aquifers.
- Developing and strengthening regional transport networks.
- Developing regional renewable power-generation systems.
- Encouraging reliance on regionally-manufactured goods.
The Loss Prevention Standard (LSP 2082 : Issue 1.0), published by BRE Global in 2017, defines resilience as the: ‘Ability to maintain and adapt in response to changing circumstances, including changes in security threat, facility operations, maintenance and sub-system failures.’
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- BREEAM Adaptation to climate change.
- BREEAM Designing for durability and resilience.
- Building back better with BREEAM.
- Building Back Better: Resilience
- Building flood resilience.
- Business resilience.
- Design flexibility.
- Designing resilient cities: a guide to good practice (EP 103).
- Engineering in the 21st century.
- Engineering resilience to human threats.
- Environmental plan for building design and construction.
- Future proofing construction.
- Hurricane design considerations.
- Managing and responding to disaster.
- Pressing pause to avoid errors.
- Property flood resilience.
- Re-evaluating the design life of buildings.
- Risk assessment.
- Sustainability in building design and construction.
- Two steps towards a more resilient world.
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