Highlights from the RELi Town Hall

Sumner Byrne

The third GBCI Town Hall, focused on the RELi program, convened the green building community around the critical need for embedding resilience strategies into building and community design in October 2020. 

A healthy future must be a resilient future. While it is critical to mitigate the impacts of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the long-term, we know that communities and businesses are already feeling the impacts. Decades of scientific evidence tells us that the Earth’s climate will continue to change even under the most aggressive emission reduction scenarios. For this reason, efforts to promote resilience must also be prioritized as we seek to create safe, healthy spaces for all. The decisions we make about how to design, build, operate and maintain buildings, communities and cities have important consequences, and will determine the severity of climate impacts on structures and people across the world. RELi is a comprehensive system that seeks to reduce these risks and ensure a better, more resilient future.

RELi is fully integrated with LEED and acts as a compliment to other GBCI certifications such as PEER and SITES which are intended to promote resilience beyond the building. RELi helps projects plan for the acute hazards that buildings and communities can face during unplanned events, such as flooding, wildfire, hurricanes or other natural disasters. Resiliency under RELi takes a holistic approach that includes promoting social equity, human health & wellbeing, and community vitality.

RELi can be considered more than a certification system. It is also an education and leadership tool to promote understanding of resilience. We deserve spaces that support and protect us during extreme weather events and create a sense of community that contributes to our wellbeing. RELi gives us the opportunity to build and support places that fight for this mission.

Read the full RELi town hall report to learn about some of the highlights of this exciting new program. Katherine Hammack provided an overview of the program and reflected on the milestones achieved thus far, and Albert Slap introduced a platform to assist in risk analysis and resilience planning. Mahesh Ramanujam stressed the importance of a resilient future for people, places and the economy. 

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