Adobe Stock / Romolo Tavani

Resilience. It’s a term heard more and more. But it’s not just another buzzword. It’s the new frontier for residential construction that will drive innovation in our industry for decades to come.

Improving resilience is a complex, multifaceted task that involves the interaction of all aspects of developing, inhabiting, and governing the built environment. Builders need a defined road map for putting resilience into practice. Home Innovation Research Labs has just been awarded a two-year, $400,000 contract from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to create that road map.

Under this contract, Home Innovation’s expert team and Advisory Group will produce a set of practical, actionable guidelines for builders and developers to design and construct residential buildings, neighborhoods, and accessory structures to improve residential resilience and integrate that resiliency with the entire community. The focus will be on new construction and major reconstruction after natural disasters—especially reconstruction in areas where entire communities need to be rebuilt after significant events. The guidelines will not focus on minor repairs or renovations that are common after most natural disaster events and will not address non-residential buildings. Regional and climatic differences will be taken into account, and the standards will provide guidance on how to effectively interact with local ordinances and broader community resilience and operations plans.

Since metrics are a critical part of meaningful, long-term resiliency, they will be a core element of the guides for builders and developers. Resiliency metrics will include:

  • identifying and defining natural hazards, disaster preparedness, and disaster resistance;
  • ability to function during and immediately after the disaster;
  • ability to quickly recover;
  • ability to get back on the path of growth;
  • on-site and community renewable power generation;
  • grid independence and grid interaction;
  • durability of building materials and systems;
  • integrated community development;
  • economic suitability;
  • social equity; and
  • communication plans.

Since the ANSI development process is part of Home Innovation’s corporate DNA, project managers will employ many ANSI protocols when assembling the advisory group, developing the content, and requesting public input. To help create these important guidelines for builders and developers, the application for the Residential Resiliency Guidelines Advisory Group is available at Applications will be accepted through Nov. 18, 2019; selected members will be announced in early December.

For more information on these efforts, submit a request at