Building Resilience: Preparing for an Unpredictable Future
Resilience is the ability to resist being affected by or bounce back from an extreme or disastrous event, and it is increasingly important for all building owners. 87% of organizations polled in the 2019 EEI survey indicated that resilience is very or extremely important when considering future investments – almost a 20% increase over 2018.
Existing buildings and new infrastructure can take action to mitigate risk. A comprehensive approach engages a response to both the physical risks and the associated risks of cultural, social, and economic shifts as climate impacts worsen.
- Physical risks include decreased passive survivability, destruction of facilities, loss of ability to employ, and disruption of production.
- Associated risks include dependency on electrical grid or natural gas transmission, exposure to event-driven price spikes, and liability for damage to others.
To help address these and other challenges, DOE created the Efficiency-Resilience Nexus as part of the Better Buildings Solution Center. Several tools are available for those considering retrofitting or constructing a new building:
- Resilience Risk Evaluation Tool – this tool allows users to perform an individual site screening assessment for combined heat and power (CHP) based on a variety of metrics and inputs.
- CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships – partners can request assistance with engagement, education, and technical services.
- Finance and Resilience Roadmap – this toolkit includes multiple resources and fact sheets on the roadmap to resiliency and financial performance. A 2017 report showed mitigation funding can save the nation $6 in future disaster costs for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation.
- Distributed Generation for Resilience Planning Guide – this guide provides information on how distributed generation can improve community and critical infrastructure resilience.
- How Distributed Energy Resources Can Improve Resilience in Public Buildings – this report outlines the benefits of integrated energy efficiency as a means of improving resilience, and describes publicly available tools DER-CAM and REopt Lite, which provide high-level information and assessments of energy use and resilience metrics.
To learn more about resilience and develop strategies for your buildings, visit the Better Buildings Solution Center and use the Resilience page to find solutions specific to your organization’s goals.