Recent disruptions of communities due to natural hazard events such as hurricanes and earthquakes have led to increased calls for improved resiliency of the built environment. The “built environment” denotes constructed facilities such as buildings and bridges, as well as infrastructure systems such as power delivery, transportation roadways, and water utilities. “Resiliency” is defined here as the “recovery and adaptability” during and after events which disrupt civil infrastructure services. In the context of this paper, the critically important service is energy delivery, on which many other services such as communications and transportation networks depend. The robustness of the building energy supply can be significantly enhanced through on-site renewable sources such as photovoltaic panels coupled with storage batteries. The degree to which the energy demand is met by the on-site capacity in the future will be determined largely upon advances in renewable energy generation and storage as well as in efficiency gains for commonly used equipment and appliances such as lighting fixtures and cooling systems. In this paper, we propose an improved design approach for the energy capacity of existing and new buildings as part of a greater regional community in which the total energy capacity requirements are met through increasingly enhanced on-site permanent power links, as opposed to increased reliance on the existing power grid. The metrics for characterizing resiliency will be “robustness,” “redundancy,” “resourcefulness,” and “rapidity,” with the associated metrics for sustainability being self-reliance and intergenerational equity enhancement.

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