Some might say there are enough rating systems for buildings. Others might say that rating systems don't in-and-of themselves make buildings better—but they are great for marketing.
Another ranking program is apparently coming soon. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security
—with partners in the private sector—is exploring a voluntary building rating program that it hopes would encourage the construction of "more resilient" residential and commercial buildings in an effort to do something to help save lives and help communities avoid expensive property damage caused by disasters. The program is named Resiliency Star and is modeled after the Energy Department's Energy Star program.
The effort is part of DHS' efforts to enhance the nation's resilience to prepare for, withstand, and rapidly recover from disasters, says DHS. The initative, still in its formative stage, was announced by David Heyman, DHS's assistant secretary for policy, during a luncheon speech at the National Insitute of Building Sciences Building Innovation 2013 conference and exposition, held Jan. 7-11 in Washington, D.C.
Still to come: A definition of resilience and lots of details about how the voluntary rating system would work.
Also at the NIBS conference, called Improving Resiliency through High Performance, the American Institute of Architects and NIBS announced the launch of a new way for people to do research on research. Building Research Information Knowledgebase, known as BRIK, is an interactive portal offering free online access to peer-reviewed research projects and case studies in all facets of the built environment, from pre-design through occupancy and reuse, says AIA.
With contributions from government agencies, architecture firms, academics and research groups, the initial online offering currently focuses on health-care facilities, learning environments and high-performance building types. It contains 500 different reports.
Additional building types will be added in the near future, says AIA.
All users may comment on and rate research projects publicly. Research articles are searchable by text, title, keyword, taxonomy and contributor. The portal has an events calendar containing research-related events concerning the built environment. BRIK will feature RSS feeds, Twitter links and bookmarking capabilities.