At a time when extreme weather events are increasingly common and communities are fractured by environmental degradation, population growth, and migration, resilience—of both structures and communities—is of the utmost importance. By understanding and addressing shocks and stresses, architects design environments that reduce harm and property damage, adapt to evolving conditions, and more readily, effectively, and efficiently recover from adverse events. To this end, AIA has collaborated and partnered with federal agencies and worldwide organizations, including the Resilience Building Coalition—a coalition of more than 50 signatories of the Building Industry Statement on Resilience in which each commits to invest in research, education, advocacy, response efforts, and comprehensive planning for more resilient communities—to advance the resilience and adaptive capacity of our communities. The education, tools, and resources below can help make your firm, projects, and community more resilient.
Explore the foundations of resilience
AIA’s Resilience Initiative is rooted in AIA’s boots-on-the-ground disaster response that is part of the AIA Disaster Assistance Program and AIA Communities by Design program. Yet the initiative strives to prevent disastrous damage by helping people make better choices during design and development. Resilience requires a multidisciplinary, systems-based design approach to addressing the social, economic, and environmental shocks and stresses to achieve sustainable, resilient, and adaptable communities. Draw upon the following resources for terminology, principals, and methods to incorporate risk awareness, hazard mitigation, and climate adaptation into client and colleague conversations.
This resource covers the basic building blocks of resilience terms. It defines key concepts including mitigation, resilience and adaption; clarifying the characteristics of each strategy as well as hazard, risk, and vulnerability.
Designing for resilience: Architects address shocks and stresses
Each community and building site faces a unique set of challenges due to the force of acute shocks and chronic stresses.
Center for Communities by Design
Work with our award-winning Design Assistance Team programs to revitalize your community or volunteer your architecture and design services.
Learn hazard mitigation, climate adaptation, and community resilience best practices
The challenges of increasing disaster risk are complex and demand design innovation. These case studies and strategies for hazard mitigation, climate adaptation, and community resilience will help you tackle the shocks and stresses that prevent our communities—and our clients—from thriving.
Key regional climate issues: A Guide for architects to drive change
On every project, architects plan for future conditions, including additional capacity, new technologies, deconstruction, and our changing climate. This resource leverages the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) to identify key climate resources and issues for 10 regions using two scenarios: the highest emissions scenario available and a midrange scenario consistent with other global resources.
Hazard mitigation design resources
Discover resources that can support hazard risk reduction development, design, and construction choices. Resources include risk analysis data and tools, maps, and guidelines for new and existing buildings.
Climate change adaptation design resources
The affects of climate change pose significant challenges for the built environment. Will the buildings you design today be able to accommodate environmental conditions in 30 years? 80 years? Use these resources as a guide to help prepare your building to handle potential changes in our climate.
Community resilience design resources
Research, data, and community indicators can provide valuable information on environmental, public health, social, and sustainability factors affecting community resilience. Here are resources and organizations to help you design and build a resilient community.
AIA Resilience and Adaptation Certificate Series
Do you want to integrate resilience into the design services your firm offers? The Resilience and Adaptation series is your answer. This exclusive multi-course series covers hazard mitigation, community resilience, and adaptation. Take all courses to learn best practices for mitigating risk for hazards, shocks, and stresses and adapting to changing conditions. Perfect for mid-career professionals.
Incorporate resilience into your firm’s design services
Architects have a role in addressing the rapidly changing climate and other hazard risks in their design work. It starts with how you practice. Use these how-to resources and tools to transform your projects and practice.
How to integrate resilience into your practice
The AIA Resilience and Adaptation online education series guides architects looking to enhance their firms’ offerings.
Architects' Guide to Business Continuity
An all new and timely resource that provides guidance for reducing vulnerability so firms can remain open despite disruptions.