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M|O Perspectives

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New ASTM Guide for Property Resilience Assessments Well Underway

Dec 15, 2022

There are over 12,000 ASTM guidelines that apply to everything from steel to sustainability. With the climate crisis at unprecedented levels, there is greater regulatory pressure to document and disclose climate risk, and the time is now to develop an industry-wide ASTM guide for property resilience assessments (PRA). Marx|Okubo is proud to serve on the task committee to define a new PRA protocol anticipated in early 2023.

Why is a PRA standard necessary?

Current climate risk modeling lacks resolution and ranges significantly in scope with climate risk data providers, engineers, and due diligence consultants all providing varying assessments. Increasingly, user communities are demanding more universal tools to effectively evaluate, document, and disclose physical climate risk for commercial buildings on behalf of lenders, owners, investors, developers and property managers.

Site inspections by building professionals are increasingly critical alongside an industry-wide guide for generating valid climate risk assessments. Marx|Okubo has joined an international task group made up of the industry’s top advisory councils and corporations to create a baseline scope of assessment. Our work creating protocols will also help develop acceptable minimum qualifications for assessment providers, build reasonable steps for conducting a PRA, facilitate high-quality standardized assessments, and establish minimum reporting guidelines.

To achieve this new standard in the next year, we’re evaluating each stage of a typical PRA, including hazard screening, vulnerability assessment, and resilience recommendations. As we develop resilience measures to meet users’ needs, we must consider key factors, including:

  • Typical user/occupants
  • Risk tolerance
  • Useful life and design life
  • Public infrastructure connectivity needs
  • Hold period
  • Asset criticality
  • Operational performance expectations

Under the new guidelines, the task group hopes to provide users and providers greater clarity on:

  • Minimum acceptable standards for contract (similar to ASTM standards for PCA or seismic review)
  • Transferability from one user to another
  • An umbrella guide under ASTM
  • Alignment with other existing due diligence standards already in place (ESA, PCA, seismic)

A basis for future hazard-specific guides and practices under ASTMMarx|Okubo will keep you informed and updated as we continue to iterate on this important industry standard for full release into the market in early 2023. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Courtney Wladyka, Director of ESG. Otherwise, stay tuned!

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Marx|Okubo is a national architecture/engineering/construction consulting firm that works with real estate owners, investors and lenders—at every point of the property lifecycle—to evaluate their building projects, solve complex challenges and implement tailored solutions. We help clients understand their projects’ complexities, so they can make more informed decisions and, ultimately, mitigate their risk.