UBC Graduate Research

Policy and Process Considerations for Enhanced Resilience : A review of best practices and stakeholder perspectives to refine UBC’s Residential Environmental Assessment Program (REAP) Kew, Jonathan


The newest iteration of UBC’s green-building rating system, REAP 3.2, will be the first to implement credits for resilience and climate adaptation. As REAP 3.2’s Enhanced Resiliency credit references the BC Housing Mobilizing, Building and Advancing Resilience (MBAR) papers on strategies for climate driven chronic stressors, this project entailed a literature review and interviews with four MBAR stakeholders, to determine whether the credits are aligned with expert perspectives. With respect to findings, the interviewees generally agreed that REAP 3.2’s Climate Adaptation category and Enhanced Resiliency credit represents a step in the right direction. But without an internal process at UBC to weigh, scale, or split the MBAR strategies into prerequisite and optional components, some stakeholders believed the credit would be less effective. Most stakeholders emphasized the importance of a deliberate facilitation process to align stakeholder goals, and to determine appropriate strategies for each development collaboratively. Models like the Integrated Building, Adaptation and Mitigation Assessment (IBAMA) framework are emerging as potential tools to structure an inclusive and comprehensive process for weighing climate mitigation and adaptation strategies. REAP 3.2 does have some gaps. For instance, the current Climate Adaptation prerequisites do not cover all best practices emergency preparedness. Disease transmission and seismic resilience were identified as the major stressor gaps in the Enhanced Resiliency credit. The former is going to be added as a primer to the MBAR series soon, making it easy to integrate into the existing Enhanced Resiliency credit. More substantive earthquake resilience represents a more prohibitive cost, but was identified by multiple stakeholders and in the literature as the predominant gap in the provincial discussion. Other building rating systems provide credits for advocacy and education on-behalf of more rigorous earthquake codes, and this could represent an opportunity for UBC to advance the conversation. Gaps in industry knowledge include the lack of a provincial resilient building database, a lack of post occupancy analysis, and the need for more consideration of community resilience. UBC’s neighbourhoods, with many non-English speaking residents, would be a valuable site to pilot multilingual programming. Each stressor also represents an opportunity for UBC to encourage design strategies that fulfill multiple sustainability goals. There are more findings dispersed throughout this report. Altogether, based on the literature and input from MBAR stakeholders, REAP 3.2’s Enhanced Resiliency credit and the Climate Adaptation category represent a sound approach to begin advancing resilient design at UBC. The primary challenge is in the disparate cost and effectiveness of the MBAR primer strategies, which is compounded by a lack of industry convergence on the best strategies. Whether UBC is able to weigh the strategies in advance of the debut of REAP 3.2 or not, a deliberate facilitation process to identify the best strategies for each new development is recommended. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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