AIA’s resilience and adaptation initiative

Buildings and communities are subjected to destructive forces from natural and human-caused hazards. The forces affecting the built environment are evolving with climate change, environmental degradation, population growth, and migration; this alters long term conditions and demands design innovation. The AIA supports and empowers members to create sustainable, resilient and adaptable communities through the power of design. – AIA Policy and Position Statements, 2017.

Through the Resilience and Adaptation Initiative, members have a new awareness of emerging issues and are provided with resources and education to address  shocks and stresses and advocate for policies to support new practices; therefore providing greater value to clients and communities.  

New to AIA Resilience and adaptation?

Integrate resilience into the design services your firm offers

Architects have a role in addressing our rapidly changing climate and other hazard risks in their design work. It starts with how you practice. Through case studies and strategies for hazard mitigation, climate adaptation, and community resilience, the exclusive AIA Resilience and Adaptation online education series tackles the shocks and stresses that prevent our communities—and our clients—from thriving. Earn your Certificate in Resilience by taking the nine courses in this exclusive series to mitigate hazard and climate risk and adapt to changing conditions.

A guide to understanding resilience and identifying risk

Do you know your building’s risk profile?  Resilience is the antidote to risk; and each resilient design starts with aligning building performance expectations. Explore this one-page resource demystifying resilience, hazard mitigation and adaptation.  Then, take action towards resilience by identifying and designing for project-specific hazard and climate risks.

Join the Resilience Network

The Resilience Network is a forum for knowledge sharing and networking on topics related to hazard mitigation, climate adaptation, and community resilience with opportunities for project participation. Ready to engage? Members start by completing a profile to share your specific interests and expertise in sustainability, hazard mitigation, resilience, and climate adaptation.  Join the Resilience Network here!

Background on AIA's Resilience and Adaptation Initiative

AIA’s Resilience Initiative is rooted in AIA’s boots-on-the-ground disaster response of the  AIA Disaster Assistance Program and AIA Communities by Design assistance program, yet strives to prevent the disastrous damages by making better choices during design and development. The Resilience and Adaptation program promotes a multi-disciplinary, systems-based design approach to addressing the social, economic and environmental shocks and stresses to achieve sustainable, resilient and adaptable communities.  

In 2014 the AIA Board of Directors adopted its first position statement on resilience and in 2015, AIA members and other experts convened to create a road map for AIA’s strategic initiative.  They honed in on the following priorities: education and member resources; and policy and advocacy. Reframing Resilience takes a comprehensive look at what changes need to be made to create a more resilient built environment.

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; each committing to investment in research, education, advocacy, response efforts, and comprehensive planning for more resilient communities - the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative, and the Architects Foundation’s National Resilience Initiative to advance the resilience and adaptability of our communities.  

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