Building Resilience: Resilient Residential Construction

Resiliency
Contact: Michelle Diller
mdiller@nahb.org
(202) 266-8375

Resilient building techniques produce buildings, landscapes and communities designed to better withstand disasters and long-term shifts resulting from climate change.

The benefits of resilient residential design strategies include minimizing risks from natural occurrences (such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, fires and tornados). Construction techniques can also be employed so that repairing and/or rebuilding a home impacted by a severe event is simpler and quicker than traditional construction. Siting considerations, as well as design and construction techniques, can make a home better able to withstand extreme weather events and flooding.

Factors that influence the decision to include above-code, voluntary resilient strategies in a home - also known as 'hardening' a home - include hazard risk, current local codes, consumer demand, return on investment and weighing any additional construction costs against the potential costs to repair/rebuild.

Hazard risk varies by location — both the type of hazard and the likelihood a home will be impacted. The risk of a catastrophic natural event is location-dependent.

Building codes are a starting point for resilient construction. Your local building code may already include provisions to help homes withstand damage from the type(s) of events most likely to impact your location.

There may be incentives available for including above-code, hardening strategies in a home — also known as ‘hardening’ a home — and/or certifying the home to a third-party program. These include lower insurance rates, more favorable mortgage terms and tax credits. In some markets, a hardened home may have a higher resale value.

NAHB Resilient Residential Construction Resources

  • Article

    Retrofit Improvements — Making Homes Safer in Disasters

    A series of two-page guidelines illustrating techniques for retrofitting existing houses to improve their protection against natural hazards. Topics include shingle attachment; flashing and sealing roof penetrations; sealing the roof deck; preventing ice dams; impact resistant doors; and hurricane shutters.

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  • Coming in 2021

    NAHB Education — Resilient Construction

Other Resilient Residential Construction Resources

Resilient Construction Certification Programs

  • External Resource

    FORTIFIED

    A program of IBHS, FORTIFIED is a voluntary construction and re-roofing program designed to strengthen homes and commercial buildings against specific types of severe weather (high winds, hail, hurricanes and tornados). The FORTIFIED Home™ voluntary third-party verified program offers three levels of certification.

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  • External Resource

    RELi

    Administered by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), RELi is a resilience rating system that uses a holistic approach, including green building and community/infrastructure preparedness. RELi is currently in the pilot phase, and certification has been aligned with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program.

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NAHB Disaster Response and Recovery Toolkit More resources and links for preparing for and responding to natural disasters in your community.
Sustainability and Green Building
<p>Construction techniques, materials and designs to minimize a home&rsquo;s impact on the environment.</p>

Sustainability and Green Building

Sustainability and Green Building

Construction techniques, materials and designs to minimize a home’s impact on the environment.

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Building Codes and Standards
<p>Building codes ensure safe homes. But many codes proposed today are done so without regard to cost to home buyers.</p>

Building Codes

Building Codes

Building codes ensure safe homes. But many codes proposed today are done so without regard to cost to home buyers.

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Knowledge
<p>Select from online courses, webinars and in-person classes and seminars.</p>

Education

Education

Select from online courses, webinars and in-person classes and seminars.

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