Resilience is the New Sustainability

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By Evan Reis

In the 20+ years since LEED® was introduced to the architectural community, disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy and the Christchurch Earthquakes have exposed the need for our buildings to not only have a low impact on the environment, but for the environment to have a low impact on our buildings. The US Resiliency Council was founded to assist architects and engineers in communicating the value of resilience against earthquakes and other natural hazards to their clients and the public. The USRC and the AIA California Council recently partnered on a discussion that covered issues including:

  • How are resilient and “green” design complimentary
  • What does the building code really get you in terms of earthquake resilience
  • How owners consider resilience in their long term capital strategies
  • What is the US Resiliency Council doing to communicate and promote resilience based design
  • How can architects engage with clients and their design team to incorporate earthquake resilience into their overall sustainability services

Panelists at the event, which was attended by more than 50 Bay Area architects included:

  • Michael Bade, Associate Vice Chancellor of Capital Programs & Campus Architect at University of California San Francisco
  • David A. Friedman, SE, Emeritus CEO & Chair of the Board at Forell/Elsesser Engineers
  • Brett Roberts, AIA, Project Architect at SmithGroup JJR
  • Evan Reis, SE, Executive Director of the US Resiliency Council

The USRC has created a video of the 90 minute event which you can view here If you have additional questions, please contact Evan Reis at



The AIACC represents the interests of more than 11,000 architects and allied professionals in California. Founded in 1944, The AIACC's mission supports architects in their endeavors to improve the quality of life for all Californians by creating more livable communities, sustainable designs and quality work environments. Today, The AIACC is the largest component of the National AIA organization.

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