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Building Resilience Focus of New Benchmark


By Naomi Millán Emergency Preparedness
Group of office building

No building is an island, so true resilience at the facility level is a community effort. Recognizing this fact, the Alliance for National and Community Resilience (ANCR) and the International Code Council have released a pilot resilience benchmark for U.S. buildings.

The benchmark aims to give municipalities a mechanism to evaluate the state of resilience of their building stocks and to provide guidance for improvement. The groups plan additional benchmarks for housing, business, and energy and water infrastructures.

The first benchmark from the ANCR focuses on buildings because "the safety, sustainability and resilience of a community’s building stock has a direct correlation to the community’s overall resilience," according to the benchmark's preamble. The Buildings Benchmark covers new and existing buildings, including commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings.

The benchmark consists of nine requirements aimed at increasing community resilience. These include: the adoption, administration, and enforcement of building codes; licensure and continuing education for contractors; mitigation of highly vulnerable buildings; mitigation and design of critical facilities; resilient design; disaster response and continuity of operations plans; standards for emergency shelters; and financial resources for post-event recovery.

So far, Washington, D.C. has expressed interest in evaluating the ANCR buildings benchmarks as it undertakes resilience planning and evaluates its building stock, according to ICC.

Naomi Millán is senior editor, Building Operating Management. 

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