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Integration of resilience and sustainability: from theory to application

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journal contribution
posted on 02.06.2015 by Nebil Achour, Efthimia Pantzartzis, Federica Pascale, Andrew Price
Purpose: Recent research outcomes suggest that the number of natural hazards, both environmental and geophysical, will increase due to the effect of global warming. Various approaches have been investigated to reduce environmental degradation and to improve the physical resilience to natural hazards. However, most of these approaches are fragmented and when combined with cultural barriers they often result into less efficient assessment tools. The aim of this study is to: explore the challenges associated with the integration of resilience and sustainability; and propose a workable solution that ensures resilient and sustainable buildings. Design/methodology/approach: The primary source of information used to develop this paper has been research publications, policy papers, reports and tool guidelines. A set of questions were developed to guide the review which was complemented with information distilled from the HFA 2005-2015 to develop an integration process to evaluate ten international sustainability appraisal tools. Findings The major finding of this research is that, from a technical point of view, resilience and sustainability could be integrated. However, it requires a long and thorough process with a multi-disciplinary stakeholder team including technical, strategic, social and political parties. A combination of incentives and policies would support this process and help people work toward the integration. The Japanese model demonstrates a successful case in engaging stakeholders in the process which led to the development of a comprehensive appraisal tool, CASBEE®, where resilience and sustainability are integrated. Practical implications Although data have been sought through literature review (i.e. secondary data), the research is expected to have significant impact as it provides a clear theoretical foundation and methods for those wishing to integrate resilience within current sustainability appraisal tools or develop new tools. Originality/value: This paper provides original concepts that are required to reduce fragmentation in the way resilience and sustainability are addressed. It sets up new research agenda which has the potential to have a strong impact due the fact that sustainability and resilience are getting higher on the political priority scale.


This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) [Grant number: EP/I029788/1].



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment (IJDRBE)






ACHOUR, N. ... et al, 2015. Integration of resilience and sustainability: from theory to application. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment (IJDRBE), 6(3), pp.347-362.


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