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Community Resilience Economic Decision Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems – An Overview



Robert E. Chapman


The Economic Guide provides a standard economic methodology for evaluating investment decisions aimed at improving the ability of communities to adapt to, withstand, and quickly recover from disasters. The Economic Guide is designed for use in conjunction with the NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems, which provides a methodology for communities to develop long-term plans by engaging stakeholders, establishing performance goals for buildings and infrastructure systems, and developing an implementation strategy. The Economic Guide supports the NIST Planning Guide by providing a mechanism to determine the efficiency of resilience actions and prioritize them. Using the economic methodology frames the economic decision process by identifying and comparing the relevant present and future streams of costs and benefits—the latter realized through cost savings and damage loss avoidance—associated with new capital investment into resilience to those future streams generated by the status-quo. Topics related to non-market values and uncertainty are also explored. The Economic Guide provides context for increasing resilience capacity through focusing on those investments that target key social goals and objectives, and providing selection criteria that ensure reduction of risks as well as increases in resilience. Furthermore, the economic methodology aims to enable the built environment to be utilized more efficiently in terms of loss reduction during recovery and to enable faster and more efficient recovery in the face of future disasters.
Proceedings Title
Economics of Community Disaster Resilience Workshop Proceedings
Conference Dates
April 29-30, 2015
Conference Location
Reston, VA
Conference Title
Economics of Community Disaster Resilience Workshop


Benefit-cost analysis, community disaster resilience, economic analysis, economic decision tool, natural and man-made hazards, risk assessment, standards, vulnerability


Chapman, R. (2015), Community Resilience Economic Decision Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems – An Overview, Economics of Community Disaster Resilience Workshop Proceedings, Reston, VA, [online], (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created December 16, 2015, Updated November 10, 2018