Environment Systems and Decisions

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 184-194

First online:

Resilience certification for commercial buildings: a study of stakeholder perspectives

  • Barbara J. JenningsAffiliated withSandia National Laboratories, Policy and Decision Analytics Department Email author 
  • , Eric D. VugrinAffiliated withSandia National Laboratories, Infrastructure and Economic Systems Analysis Department
  • , Deborah K. BelasichAffiliated withSandia National Laboratories, Infrastructure and Economic Systems Analysis Department

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Infrastructure resilience has become a primary objective for homeland and national security organizations over the past decade. Recent initiatives have focused on resilient building design, and one approach under consideration is a voluntary resilience certification program for commercial buildings. The intent of this program would be to encourage the adoption of resilient design practices in construction and planning of the buildings. While resilience may be a frequently discussed concept within the security communities, its level of awareness within the construction, design, insurance, and building owner communities is not well known. Given the voluntary nature of the certification program under consideration, program development requires a comprehensive understanding of resilience as defined by the commercial building stakeholders. Toward this end, Sandia National Laboratories conducted a study of stakeholder perspectives on resilience to ascertain factors that would serve as motivation for participation in the resilience certification program. This paper describes how Sandia performed the study and the resulting conclusions. One of the key conclusions that the study found is that the term resilience is unfamiliar to many and inconsistently defined across the industries. Those familiar with the term frequently linked it to sustainability concepts. The study also found that increased participation in the resilience certification program is very likely affected by demonstrable returns on resilience investments and a public–private partnership model for program administration.


Resilience Building certification program Infrastructure resilience Grounded Theory Method Sustainable