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Resiliency Guidelines will aim to help communities recover more quickly and efficiently after disaster.

October 11, 2019 | Upper Marlboro, MD

Home Innovation Awarded HUD Contract to Create Residential Resilience Guidelines for Builders & Developers

Issues Call for Advisory Group Member Applicants

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 roadmap 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 (HUD) to create the guidelines that will help builders and developers incorporate resilience into their projects.

Under this contract, Home Innovation’s expert team and assembled 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 guidelines will focus on new construction and major re-construction after natural disasters -- especially re-construction 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. The guidelines will take regional and climatic differences into account, and will provide guidance on how to effectively interact with local ordinances and broader community resilience and operations plans.

Metrics are a critical part of meaningful, long-term resiliency, and they will be a core element of the builder/developer guidelines. 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
  • communication plans

Because 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 input from the public. For those interested in helping to create these important guidelines for builders and developers, the application for the Residential Resiliency Guidelines Advisory Group is now open. Home Innovation will be accepting applications through November 18, 2019; selected members will be notified and announced in early December.

Looking forward, Home Innovation plans to develop a formal resilience standard based on the ANSI process and the resilience guidelines. For more information on the project, contact John Peavey, P.E., Home Innovation’s Director, Building Science.

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ABOUT: Home Innovation Research Labs, located in Upper Marlboro, Md., is a full-service research, testing, and consulting firm determined to improve the quality, durability, affordability, and environmental performance of single- and multifamily homes and home building products – in short, we aim to perfect the home. Founded in 1964 as a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), our team has been integral in solving many of our client’s most difficult product and technology issues, and helping to introduce some of the most groundbreaking innovations in residential construction. Through an interdisciplinary research approach – including market research, building science analysis, laboratory testing, and standards development – we help to find a home for innovation in the residential construction industry.

NOTE TO EDITORS ON STYLE USAGE: To identify this company and its work correctly, first reference should be "Home Innovation Research Labs." In subsequent mentions, "Home Innovation Labs” or simply “Home Innovation” are acceptable and accurate alternative references; we are not identified by an acronym. Prior to February 12, 2013, the company was known as the NAHB Research Center.