In the buildings industry, the meaning of “green” has evolved significantly. In the 1980s the term focused tightly on environmental impacts. Since then it has broadened to include concepts of sustainability and then of resilience.
The Resilient Design Institute identifies resilience as “the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain or regain functionality and vitality in the face of distress or disturbance.” This approach encompasses environmental as well as economic and social considerations.
Resilience goes beyond durability to redundancy and back-ups. It focuses on extreme weather as well as power outages and transportation interruptions. It encompasses safety and comfort for occupants and production of power, lighting and water.