RELi + Resilient Design

RELi-LogoVert_C3Webpage-60 The RELi Resiliency Action List + Credit Catalog

Welcome to the RELi Resiliency Action List + Credit Catalog. RELi <pronounced rely> combines a comprehensive list of resilient design criteria with the latest in proven integrative process for developing next generation communities, neighborhoods, buildings, homes and infrastructure.  RELi is a project rating system similar to LEED®, but with a  focus on resiliency. The Credit Catalog includes new resilience based actions (credits) pioneered for RELi in 2014. It also aggregates action items from other sustainable guidelines that support resiliency.  Design method is an important part of RELI and we frame combining a comprehensive + expandable action list with an integrative process as the Living Design Approach. This universal method is embodied in the RELi Panoramic Approach category as a series of requisites + credits.

What is Resiliency?

The following definition of resiliency has guided our development and selection of metrics and measures for inclusion in the RELi Resiliency Action List + Catalog:

Resilient Design pursues Buildings + Communities that are shock resistant, healthy, adaptable and regenerative through a combination of diversity, foresight and the capacity for self-organization and learning. A Resilient Society can withstand shocks and rebuild  itself when necessary. It requires humans to embrace their capacity to anticipate, plan and adapt for the future.


RELi Open Access Practice Documents available to Project Teams

OPEN the RELi Action List + Credit Catalog Reference Brief  Version 1.2 Here →
NEW! Online Flipbook with updated Graphics and Minor Edits – May.09.2017

OPEN the RELi Action List + Credit Catalog Reference Brief Version 1.1 Here  →
RELi REFERENCE BRIEF V1.1 (Online Flipbook)

RELi Cover

DOWNLOAD the RELi Resiliency Action List Here ↓
RELi Resiliency ACTION LIST (4 Page PDF) 


DOWNLOAD the RELi Tally Sheet Here ↓

RELi Tally

Articles + Reports referencing RELi

Obama White House Office of Management + Budget (OMB) December 22, 2016 →
RELi is referenced on page 24 as one of  seven programs warranting further consideration by Federal risk and insurance programs.
White House OMB Report “Standards and Finance To Support Community Resilience”

American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Icon Winter 2016 Article “Designing for Disaster” →
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) article “Design for Disaster” includes in-depth interviews on RELi and resilience with both Doug Pierce and Courtney Johnston of Perkins+Will.
The discussion on RELi start on page 30.

Architect Journal: “Architects Author Climate Plan for Nation’s Capital” →
Perkins+Will provides D.C. with adaptation strategies to confront the realities of climate change. RELi was the foundational inspiration for the D.C. plan.

Finance + Commerce Article on RELi →
“Sustainable: Resiliency is the Next Stage for Building Design”

GreenBiz Article on RELi →
LEED for resilience? Paying for shock-proof infrastructure” 

Building Design + Construction (BD+C) Article on RELi 
New RELi standard addresses disaster resilience

RELi Slide Deck for Minnesota AIA, USGBC + Green Step Cities

Who Developed RELi? 

RELi was developed over the past 7 years through the generous participation of professionals, experts and graduate students at Perkins + WillAREA ResearchC3 Living Design, The Capital Markets Partnership’s National Safety + Resiliency CommitteeAIA Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota School of Architecture. The RELi consensus standard development process was administered by The Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability (MTS) in 2014. MTS is an ANSI accredited standards developer following the ANSI approved National Consensus Process. The Action List + Credit Catalog are resources included in the RELi Green + Resilient Property Underwriting and Finance Standard.  The Principle Investigator for the RELi Acton List + Credit Catalog is Douglas Pierce AIA, LEED Fellow, Senior Associate with Perkins+Will and Professor in Practice at the University of Minnesota.  Along with other pioneers such as the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program, RELi has helped to inspire the broader building + design industry to actively engage in resilience. We hope you will join us in the on-going and evolving pursuit of a resilient, regenerative + sustainable living world.

Using RELi + The Living Design Approach

At its most basic level, RELi is a simple, but comprehensive “to-do” list. Using even a few of its selective parts can improve a project’s adaptive potential. At a higher level, RELi’s Requisites + Credits can be viewed as patterns forming a web of interconnected relationships with emergent, intangible properties. Using an interactive combination of lists and living systems thinking, RELi projects can take on living qualities that offer more than than they take, offering net positive attributes. RELi will be most effective when used in combination with a well managed, integrative, living design approach where it can inform the systemic concepts that shape a design or solution. We encourage you to think of RELi as a catalog of great ideas and patterns to be blended with other concepts + resources in the pursuit of deeply resilient, living designs.

For ease of use, RELi is structured much like LEED® and other point based rating systems. If you know LEED, LBC, SMaRT, SB2030 or other Leadership Programs, you can readily apply your existing knowledge to RELi. RELi can stand alone as its own project certification or you can pursue LEED, LBC and other certifications to demonstrate compliance with many of RELi’s regenerative, restorative and sustainable elements.

The RELi Action List + Credit Catalog has the breadth, depth and fundamental requirements needed to launch almost any project forward in pursuit of resiliency or even regeneration, sustainability and wellness. However capturing all-things resilient or salient to a specific project is more than a single list can accomplish, so we’ve included ample space for applied creativity, innovation and leadership within the RELi framework.

Resiliency is an emergent property that exists when the parts, pieces + patterns are properly integrated to create a close fit with each other, the project needs and its context. Wholistic, systems based design, planning + operations are a priority for RELi and the use of a basic, integrative process is required. For teams seeking to explore advanced resiliency, RELi’s Panoramic Approach credits outline the living design approach for using the Action List line-items as seed for creating a highly  interactive + integrated resilient system. The living design approach is universal. It can be applied to regenerative, restorative, sustainable and healthy designs.

We hope you will join us in taking an important step towards creating not only a sustainable, restorative + regenerative world, but one that is also resilient by using the RELi Resiliency Action List and the living design approach to guide your projects.

RELi + Living Systems Thinking

RELi on its own is an easy to use Action List. To be highly effective and go beyond a scorecard approach to using RELi, the Action List should be combined with the types of
ecological, living systems thinking Michelle Holliday discusses in this inspiring TEDx  Talk. The talk is focused on business organizations, but it adapts well to projects, neighborhoods and communities.

“The Pattern of Living Systems” by Michelle Holiday / TEDxConcordia

Inspiring Stories of Resiliency

Resiliency is an emergent property of living systems that arises from multiple sources, at any  location or within any living community. We’d like to share stories of resiliency through different lenses, perspectives and voices as a way to inspire all people to take action. If you have a story you believe we should post, please share it with us through the C3 Living Design Contact Us page.

“10 Years after Hurricane Katrina the Lower 9th Ward is a Love Story of Resistance + Renewal”
Sierra Club – Lower 9th Ward: Rightfully Returned


Bruce Springsteen – “We Take Care of Our Own”

“Where’re the eyes, the eyes with the will to see; Where are the hearts that run over with mercy;
Where’s the work that’ll set my hands, my soul free; Where’s the spirit that’ll reign over me;
We Take Care of Our Own, From Chicago to New Orleans … to the Superdome”