NRMCA helps secure Resilience pilot credits in LEED v4 project certification

Sources: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.; CP staff

At the urging of NRMCA and allied stakeholders, the U.S. Green Building Council has adopted LEED rating system pilot credits incentivizing project teams to plan, design and build for resilience. NRMCA proposed a pilot credit in September 2013, working with a group headed by the Resilient Design Institute’s Alex Wilson, a longtime resiliency advocate who had submitted a pilot credit proposal with similar goals.

Through collaboration, Wilson’s group adopted some of the key parts in the NRMCA proposal, specifically dealing with hazard identification and design criteria in the FORTIFIED for Safer Business program. With one point each to design teams adopting resiliency strategies, the three new pilot credits are:

Assessment and Planning for Resilience. Team must complete in pre-design a Hazard Assessment prerequisite to identify critical hazards, plus at least one of two options of either Climate Resilience Planning or Emergency Preparedness Planning.

Design for Enhanced Resilience. Team must design its project to specific standards—including FORTIFIED for Safer Business—for the top three hazards identified in the Assessment and Planning for Resilience credit.

Passive Survivability and Functionality during Emergencies. Team must meet any two of the three options that include thermal resilience (livable conditions in a building after a disaster), back-up power or access to potable water.

Once implemented and vetted on actual LEED projects, a pilot credit is often afforded permanent status; points are then assigned based on overall impact regarding green building objectives. In addition to USGBC outreach, NRMCA and industry allies have been promoting inclusion of resiliency design strategies in legislation and building codes for years. One of the key pieces of related federal legislation is the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act, providing up to a $3,000 tax credit for homeowners and up to $25,000 to building owners who design to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s FORTIFIED standards. If passed, the legislation would support LEED projects that implement the new resilience pilot credits.