A successful integrative design process engages people, identifies collective priorities, and ensures that sustainability, health, resilience, and placemaking objectives are met.

NYC Overlay: 

In addition to the below, all projects are REQUIRED to replace section 5, Climate and Environmental Resilience, of the Project Priorities Survey with the “Exposure Screening Tool” on pages 31-32 of the NYC Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines v3.0 (or most current version of the CRDG).  Use that Exposure Screening Tool to determine whether your property has a low, medium, or high exposure rating for Heat, Precipitation, and Sea Level Rise.  Projects are encouraged, but not required to perform the Next Steps outlined in the tool.

Projects are encouraged to analyze and select design strategies and criteria that mitigate risk from pertinent climate hazards with the methodology, datasets and assumptions established within the most current version of the CRDG.  

NYC Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/orr/pdf/NYC_Climate_Resiliency_Design_Guidel...



Integrative Design: Project Priorities Survey


A successful integrative design process is more art than science. It also is often the determining factor in ultimately achieving a successful project. At this early phase of pre-development, it’s critical for project teams to understand many facets of the development, including the residents and their needs, the community at large, and environmental stressors that affect a person’s health and well-being—this is what an integrative design process can do.

Integrative design is a holistic approach to pre-development that prioritizes information gathering, understanding and prioritizing the resident experience, and setting objectives for building performance and resident health and comfort, as well as project coordination and buy-in from all related development stakeholders.

By seeking out readily available information and engaging in an integrative design process, teams can gain a holistic understanding of the context, place, and population they are serving. This will help teams shape their priorities to drive project decisions. This understanding can also be used to garner project support and demonstrate need, and may support documentation for funding applications.


Complete the Project Priorities Survey, which can be found in the Appendix. Once completed, the Project Priorities Survey will serve as a simple guide to understand the context, population, and environmental considerations that your development must address in order to facilitate a well-informed integrative design process.


  • Complete the Project Priorities Survey with as much of your development team as has been identified. Pre-construction coordination and goal setting ensures all development team members are aligned to specific development goals.
  • The ideal time to complete the Project Priorities Survey should be determined by the design and development team. It should be completed early enough in the design phase (conceptual design or schematic design) where the completed Survey can positively influence design decisions as they are made.

  • Engage relevant data sets and challenge assumptions of everyone on the development team.

  • Qualitative data, especially from current or potential residents, is also a critical source of information, and can be used to confirm or counter quantitative data you may research.




NYC Overlay: 

Points are available for consulting with the NYC Accelerator during pre-development or schematic design: (1) point for consultation and (2) points for incorporating actionable strategies determined in the consultation.

NYC Accelerator: https://retrofitaccelerator.cityofnewyork.us/



Mandatory & Optional 2 points maximum

Integrative Design: Charrettes and Coordination Meetings


An Integrative Design process is helpful in maximizing project budget and impact through a holistic, comprehensive approach. An integrative project delivery process facilitates the design and development team’s achievement of green objectives, positive health, and community outcomes throughout the development life cycle by advancing multi-benefit strategies.

Green design charrettes can be powerful opportunities to educate and align stakeholders with the goals and objectives of a project and to tap into the collective wisdom of the group. Smaller multi-disciplinary teams may also be brought together to analyze and develop integrated solutions to complex design challenges that require multiple perspectives to resolve perceived conflict, between first cost and operational costs. Pre-development is also an important moment to ensure that lessons learned through maintenance of other projects are woven into design decisions made about your current project.

The outcomes of an integrative project delivery process may include substantially lower development costs and greater health, economic, environmental, and social benefits for residents, property owners, and communities.


Develop an integrative design process that works best for your project team and intentions. At minimum, project teams should develop:

  • An integrative process that takes the research and learnings of the Project Priorities Survey (Criterion 1.1) and moves them into action. The process should prioritize collaborative meeting formats, such as:
    • Green charrette(s)
    • Preconstruction coordination planning meeting(s)
    • Construction coordination meeting(s)
    • Resident engagement/community meetings

These collaborative meeting formats should be used, in some combination, to:

  • Productively and regularly engage residents and/or community members
  • Include lessons learned from existing projects
  • Identify green and resilience objectives for the project
  • Complete an Enterprise Green Communities Criteria checklist with the entire design and development team
  • Coordinate pre-development research and work
  • Confirm that the documents (plans, specifications, scope(s) of work) reflect the completed Enterprise Green Communities Criteria checklist, as the project transitions from Design Development to Construction Document phase
  • Confirm that green objectives for the project are incorporated into design
  • Throughout your integrative process, as decisions about sustainability strategies are being considered, place priority on multi-benefit strategies that achieve multiple green, health and well-being, environmental resilience, and community/social resilience goals concurrently.
  • As research and decisions are being made during pre-development, assign responsibility within your design and development team(s) to create accountability. When certain professionals and trades—or better still, individuals—are assigned responsibility for tasks, those tasks have a higher likelihood of being completed.


  • Consider tracking meeting minutes, attendees, topics discussed, and decisions made in an online database that is searchable. This can be a valuable resource when personnel working on projects can change over the long duration of the design and construction process.

  • Include a training session for community members to be educated about the basics of green design, and its benefits and trade-offs, and be informed about the latest trends in green construction methods so that the public can provide detailed, constructive feedback to the design and development team during engagement sessions.

  • Prioritize holistic goal setting. The mission statement and research developed through the Project Priorities Survey (Criterion 1.1) should be used to solidify project goals and strategies. Some questions to consider may be:

    • How can the project leverage multi-benefit strategies to holistically address climate and human resilience?
    • Does the project consider the synergies and overlap between the eight categories of the Green Communities Criteria?

    • Are equity and climate change considered throughout the decision-making process?

    • Are both life cycle and upfront costs being considered when making decisions about systems and materials?

    • Have current, or potential, residents been involved throughout the pre-development process?

      Have they been actively engaged? Have they had a voice in the process?

  • Building operators of similar projects often have key insights that are helpful when making important decisions at the pre-development phase. Have building operations and maintenance staff been consulted on systems selection? Finish materials selection? Climate concerns, connected to resilience strategies?

  • Use data from your previous projects as baselines to inform your goals for your current project.

    For example: evaluate your portfolio energy and water consumption (per bedroom), your health needs assessment data, and your financial data, including pro-forma assumptions broken down more finely regarding operating expense categories.

  • Consider creating incentives for your construction team based on the performance of various building components.





Integrative Design: Documentation


Projects that intentionally create accountability among project team members to meet the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria through design and construction documentation successfully implement the Criteria on-site during the construction phase. An evaluation of the pre-development process Enterprise Green Communities conducted in 2011 found that development teams that prioritized documentation of Enterprise Green Communities Criteria were 95% more likely to have those materials or methods show up in the final building.


In the construction/contract documents for the project, including but not limited to drawing set and scope(s) of work, include all the information needed to properly implement the measures intended to meet Enterprise Green Communities Criteria and other mission-critical design features. Include Enterprise Green Communities Criteria information in your construction specifications, in Division 1 Section 01 81 13 Sustainable Design Requirements, as necessary for the general contractor to understand the requirements and how they will be verified. Ensure, and indicate, that the drawings and specifications have been generated to be compliant and meet the certification goals.

Document any and all Green Communities criteria that require the general contractor, subcontractors, or consultants to comply with a particular construction phase process (e.g., Criteria 6.10 Construction Waste Management) in other construction specifications, as appropriate.

As design progresses, evaluate how the development of the documents is addressing the goals and priorities outlined earlier in the integrative design processes, specifically in the Project Priorities Survey (Criteria 1.1).


  • Incorporate all Enterprise Green Communities Criteria mandatory and optional measures that the project intends to meet.
  • Plans and specifications should include a performance specification, examples of products that meet the specification, the metrics used to measure compliance, and how compliance will be confirmed.

  • Architectural drawings should detail the air sealing and compartmentalization approach for the building and units. Drawings should indicate specifically which materials are considered the air barrier, and expectations for the transition of that air barrier between materials on all six sides.


  • Enterprise Community Partners, The Success of Charrettes: Evidence in Practice for Engaging in an Integrative Design Approach (2011). 

  • Enterprise Community Partners, Green Charrette Tools. This website contains a series of tools and trainings that can help any project team develop and deliver a robust integrative design process. 

  • Building America’s Climate-Specific Guidance (http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/building-america-climate-specific-guidance) and the Building America Solution Center (http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/building-america-solution-center) provide residential building professionals with access to expert information on hundreds of high-performance design and construction topics. They include contracting documents and specifications, installation guidance, CAD drawings, “right and wrong” photographs of installation practices, and training videos.

  • Construction Specifications for Single-Family Rehabilitation Specifications, Multifamily Rehabilitation Specifications, and Universal Design Specifications. For both multifamily and single- family residences, includes customizable specifications for you to copy, adjust, and use for your projects. 

  • Enterprise Green Communities maintains a comprehensive registry of qualified green affordable TA providers that are available for support on the design, construction, rehabilitation and operations of green affordable housing. To find a Green TA provider near you, search the list.



Integrative Design: Construction Management


Communication and education of all contractors, subcontractors, and consultants are critical to ensure that the objectives and decisions made throughout the integrative design process are implemented on-site, during construction of the project.


  • Create, implement, and document a contractor, subcontractor, and consultant education plan to ensure that those working on-site fully understand their role in achieving the project objectives. Information to include in the education plan must include (at a minimum):
    • A summary of the Project Priorities Survey (Criterion 1.1)
    • Sustainability goals/objectives
    • Anticipated roles of each party in regard to the performance expected of the building (energy and water usage) and site

Attach and reference this training plan to construction specifications in Division 1 Section 01 81 13 Sustainable Design Requirements.

Training with contractors, subcontractors, and consultants should focus specifically on what their responsibilities are and how that work will be evaluated by the project team.

  • Include a status update regarding progress towards satisfying the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria as a meeting agenda item during your construction kickoff meeting and as a regular standing agenda item for weekly construction meetings.

  • Include timeline estimates for performance testing and verification schedules in the overall construction schedule (and within Division 1 Section 01 81 13 Sustainable Design Requirements) to ensure that advanced coordination can be made between installation contractors and testing and verification contractors. Estimates may be used until the final testing and verification schedules are finalized.

  • As the project moves from design into construction, review requirements for Criterion 8.1, Criterion 8.2 and Criterion 8.3, and begin populating those documents with relevant information (e.g., installation documents, maintenance manuals).


  • Even if no progress is made week-to-week, the standing meeting agenda item has the impact of keeping construction team members focused on satisfying the sustainability goals of the project.

  • Train and educate contractors, subcontractors, and consultants to the general contractor as they begin working on-site as to the goals of the development team and the anticipated final performance of the building. Focus your training efforts on foremen or crew bosses, or whomever is managing the work on-site. Trades that should be trained vary depending on the scope of work, but often include: framing contractors, electrical contractors, plumbing contractors, insulation installers, air sealing specialists, plumbing contractors, and HVAC contractors/installers.

  • Add self-verification requirements for your construction team for certain project items that demand proper installation (e.g., testing of water fixtures, testing of bath fans, air sealing of air handler closets).

  • Review notes and deviations—including Request for Information (RFI) approved submittals, and Architect’s Supplemental Instructions (ASIs)—should be included in construction documentation. Explanations for where and why design/specifications were changed should be clearly identified throughout final documentation. This item should be included in your construction specifications in Division 1 Section 01 81 13 Sustainable Design Requirements.


  • Enterprise Community Partners, Green Charrette Tools. This website contains a series of tools and trainings that can help any project team develop and deliver a robust integrative design process. 

  • Enterprise Green Communities maintains a comprehensive registry of qualified green affordable TA providers that are available for support on the design, construction, rehabilitation, and operations of green affordable housing. To find a Green TA provider near you, search the list. 

NYC Overlay: 

For projects following this optional criterion, see NYC Community Health Profiles (https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/data/data-publications/profiles.page) for neighborhood-specific health data during Step 3, Data Collection.


Optional | 12 points for Steps 1–6; Additional 3 points for Step 7

Design for Health and Well-Being: Health Action Plan


Our social and physical environments account for 50%–70% of our health outcomes. Housing conditions play a significant role in this context, given that people spend at least half of every day in their homes. Housing design, construction and operations decisions impact resident health—whether those decisions are intentionally made in respect to health or not. Thoughtful, informed decision making can make a profound difference in the health outcomes of residents.

The Health Action Plan framework, developed as part of the release of the 2015 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, provides affordable housing developers a process for integrating health into affordable housing design and development activities. This innovative process pairs affordable housing developers with public health professionals to prioritize the health needs specific to their community through data analysis and community engagement, resulting in cost-effective strategies that amplify project goals and improve factors that drive health and well-being for residents. Drawing from public health methods (including Health Impact Assessments, or HIAs), the Health Action Plan framework allows project teams to identify and address important health issues. With the release of the 2020 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, we have revised the Health Action Plan framework to reflect the experiences and recommendations of practitioners.


Project teams will follow the Health Action Plan process starting in pre-development and continuing throughout the project life cycle (design, construction, operations). Steps 1 through 6 are required for compliance with this criterion. Step 7 may not be feasible for all teams and is therefore available for additional points. The process includes:

  1. Commit to embedding health into the project life cycle
  2. Partner with a public health professional
  3. Collect and analyze community health data
  4. Engage with community stakeholders to prioritize health data and strategies
  5. Identify strategies to address those health issues
  6. Create an implementation plan
  7. Create a monitoring plan [available for additional points]

Specific requirements for each Step are listed here:

Step 1. Commit to Embedding Health into the Project Life Cycle

The first step to embarking on the Health Action Plan process is to commit to taking a health-informed approach to development. This commitment undergirds all subsequent actions and should be made early, ideally during schematic design. As part of this commitment, assess where the project is in its life cycle to ensure that data collected and strategies selected can be integrated into the design, construction, and operations of the development; allocate time and funds to partner with a public health professional and engage community stakeholders; and commit to integrating feasible strategies that can improve health outcomes.

Step 2. Partner with a Public Health Professional

Formally partner with a public health professional to support data collection and analysis (Step 3), community engagement (Step 4), and development of evidence-based strategies (Steps 5 & 6) to address the health needs that emerge from the Health Action Plan process. The public health professional must have expertise in:

  • Accessing, analyzing, and disaggregating local public health data (including social, environmental, and economic factors contributing to health needs)

  • Facilitating resident and community engagement to reveal community health priorities

  • Identifying evidence-based strategies that can be utilized in the design, construction, and operations process to promote health

  • If pursuing Step 7, identifying methods and metrics for monitoring impact of built environment strategies on resident health

Consider: Public health professionals may be public health consultants, faculty or graduate students of public health programs, staff of public health institutes or departments and/or community-based public health organizations, architects or green consultants with public health training (e.g., MPH), and/or, potentially, individuals from other types of organizations such as hospitals. The qualifications (four factors listed above) of the individual and their capacity to serve in this role for the duration of the project are of higher priority than the type of organization within which that individual is based.

In addition to the public health professional on record for the project, project teams may have opportunity to incorporate the advice and expertise of other health professionals in the Health Action Plan during Step 4, stakeholder engagement, or the formation of an advisory board to provide review and input into this process.

See Resources for a template Public Health Professional Scope of Work and a list of pre-vetted public health professionals. Consider interviewing a few candidates before selecting the final public health professional for your project.

Step 3. Collect and Analyze Publicly Available Community Health Data

The public health professional, in partnership with the project team, will conduct research on resident health factors by accessing and analyzing publicly available data sources. These data sources will likely include community health assessments and plans relevant to your community conducted by organizations like not-for-profit hospitals and public health departments. Access and analyze data that is as specific to the location and demographic served by the project as possible. Analyze the data to identify the project’s potential connections to health and the baseline health conditions of the people who live or are most likely to live in or be impacted by the project.

When possible, disaggregate the data by race, ethnicity, income, age, and/or gender. This disaggregation will reveal health disparities, a health difference linked closely to social, economic, and/or environ- mental disadvantage, specific to your community. Understanding health disparities, and why they are occurring, will allow the project team to develop strategies aimed to close the gaps in health outcomes between different groups in your community.

Step 4. Engage with Community Stakeholders to Prioritize Health Data and Strategies

The public health professional and project team will engage community stakeholders to better understand and prioritize the health issues identified during Step 3, refining what was learned in the data collection phase based on the lived experience and preferences of the impacted community. Use this information to inform potential types of design, construction, and/or operational solutions that could address those health needs.

Consider: When soliciting feedback on potential types of solutions, the public health professional shall frame the conversation to identify preferences for different types of interventions that would be effective, rather than focus on specific interventions themselves, as the project team will likely not be able to confirm feasibility of specifics at this point in the project life cycle. For instance, rather than asking the community stakeholders to rank their preference for specific interventions (e.g., exercise room, advanced HVAC filtration system), work toward understanding and agreement from the community stakeholders on the areas of health that are their highest priority (e.g., obesity or indoor air quality or safety) and the type (e.g., more opportunities for physical activity, improved unit-based air quality) of desired solutions associated with it.

Community stakeholders may include community members who live in or may be served directly by the project; individuals who live, work, or learn in the neighborhood surrounding the project; those who provide services or programming in the building or in the neighborhood surrounding the project; and stakeholders with expertise in the health needs of community members (e.g., public health department, hospitals). When engaging stakeholders, consider the groups disproportionately impacted by health issues in your community to ensure that their voices are represented during this outreach.

Step 5. Identify Strategies to Address Those Health Issues

Given the data and feedback collected in Steps 3 and 4, the project team will work closely with the public health professional to characterize how the project may impact—both positively and negatively—health outcomes for residents and, in turn, identify potential actions that could be implemented within the project’s design, construction, or operation to enhance health-supportive features of the project and minimize potential health risks.

Consider: In identifying strategies, the project team and public health professional should also consider how to build in adaptability in addressing health needs as residents age in the building and as health needs change in response to our changing climate.

Step 6. Create an Implementation Plan

Based on the list of potential interventions generated in Step 5, project teams, with guidance from the public health professional, shall select strategies to implement. In identifying these actions, prioritize those that are likely to have significant effects on health, are responsive to community concerns, and are feasible to implement given time and budget constraints. Teams should consider the extent to which the actions will address health impacts of higher concern as well as the feasibility of implementation and maintenance (in terms of cost, resources, technical constraints, etc.). Note that actions may include design changes as well as targeted programming for the property. Document which strategies were selected and determine how these strategies will be implemented throughout the project life cycle (e.g., who is responsible, when will they occur).

Step 7. Create a Monitoring Plan [available for additional points]

Develop a monitoring plan to determine how the health-promoting strategies that were implemented in the project are impacting resident health and wellness over time. Tailor the monitoring plan to the goals and capacity of the project team and partners. Consider involving residents in the monitoring process, including through data collection and analysis. Share the monitoring results with residents.

A. Define the goal for your monitoring plan

  • Align the goal of the monitoring plan with the desired impact of the Health Action Plan for the project team and impacted residents. For instance: Does the property [improve or reduce] [highest priority health issue for residents]?

  • Also consider secondary goals to serve other purposes important to the project team and impacted residents, such as informing grant funding, innovative partnerships with the health care sector, or future project design.

B. Select design, operations, and health performance metrics to track over time

  • Include design and operations metrics for each of the health promoting strategies selected as part of the Health Action Plan process


  • Include health metrics to assess the property in general or for each health promoting strategy


  • Include additional types of metrics as needed

C. Determine strategies of measurement  (e.g., survey, monitoring frequency of use, building checklist) for each metric that align with the project team’s capacity and capabilities

D. Determine the frequency of assessment for each metric

E. Define the staff, residents, or partners responsible for data collection, analysis, and dissemination.

Design metrics are used to determine if and how well the selected health-promoting strategies were incorporated into the project design.

Operations metrics are used to determine if and how well property operations practices that impact the selected health-promoting strategies are implemented.

Health metrics are used to determine if and how well residents’ health is impacted by the selected health-promoting strategies. Health metrics may include frequency of use, changes in behavior, resident perception, and, when possible, health outcomes (e.g., utilization or prevalence of symptoms). Include the health metrics that make the most sense for your situation. Rather than creating health metrics of your own, you may choose to implement the Healthy Housing Outcomes Survey located in the Resources section of this criterion. Otherwise, connect directly with the public health professional to select metrics that will illustrate impact appropriate to the time frame of the monitoring plan.












High incidence of childhood asthma

Eliminate or reduce use of materials with asthma triggers

No carpet


All floors will be hard surface flooring

Research demonstrates the health benefits of carpet-free housing. There is also a maintenance/operations savings, which will be used to validate the extra cost up front.

Above-average prevalence of childhood obesity

Prioritize features that promote physical activity

Street infrastructure improvements to safely accommodate users of all ages, abilities, and transportation modes



Our project team does not have the capacity to affect local transportation infrastructure.

Above-average prevalence of childhood obesity

Prioritize features that promote physical activity

Design perimeter of building to allow kids to run, ride bikes, and walk the full perimeter of the building


Landscaping will include trample- proof groundcover and concrete walks

This feature will provide a local, safe space for the families living in our development to run. This will keep kids close to the building, which will be considered safer by families since it is within the yard.











High incidence of childhood asthma

Eliminate or reduce use of potential asthmagens

No carpet flooring

Design Metrics:

No carpet is specified in the project plans and specs. All flooring materials specified are hard surfaces

Operations Metrics: Maintain flooring per manufacturer specifi- cations. Measure IAQ in

winter and summer

Health Metrics:

Survey questions asking residents about the number of times that they or their child have used their emergency inhaler

Design Metrics:

Architect to certify

that no carpet was utilized in the project design/ specifications. John Smith, ACME Inc., 123.456.7890

Operations Metrics: Property manager will engage an IAQ consultant to measure formaldehyde

levels in air once each

quarter. Jane Doe, Co. Inc., 234.456.5678

Health Metrics:

Residents will be surveyed by resident services team

Design Metrics:

To be certified on final plan set before construction starts

Operations Metrics:

To be bi-annually

Health Metrics:

Annual survey

Above average prevalence

of childhood obesity

Prioritize physical activity–promoting features

Design perimeter of building to allow kids to run, ride bikes, and walk the full perimeter of the building

Design Metrics: Landscape architect to certify specified area located on drawings

Operations Metrics: Monitor path for debris, snow, and disrepair

Health Metrics: Frequency of use and annual survey of residents about child

safety concerns

and self-reported frequency of use

Design Metrics:

Architect to certify that specs include appropriate lighting fixtures. John Smith, ACME Inc., 123.456.7890

Operations Metrics: Maintenance technician to walk path. Jane Doe, Co. Inc., 234.456.5678

Health Metrics: Residential Services Coordinator Beth Smith, 123.456.7890. Residents

to be surveyed by

residential services team

Design Metrics:

To be certified on final plan set before construction starts

Operations Metrics:


Health Metrics:

Quarterly observation

of use and annual survey


Health Action Plan Resources

Neighborhood- or Community-Level Health Data Sets (most relevant for Step 3)

  • Most not-for-profit hospitals are required to perform a community health needs assessment (CHNA) as part of the IRS regulations allowing them tax-exempt status. As part of the data review, we encourage you to pull the CHNA(s) from the local hospital(s) as an additional data resource.
  • Enterprise Community Partners, Opportunity360 Toolkit. Includes a Measure tool that provides census-tract–level data on key community opportunity outcomes. The Listen tool offers resources to generate community feedback and participation. www.opportunity360.org

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 500 Cities: Local Data for Better Health. Data at the city and census-tract level. www.cdc.gov/500cities/index.html

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Creating a Health Profile of Your Neighborhood. Project teams can consult this document for guidance. It outlines the basic steps and provides online resources for creating a neighborhood health profile. www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/toolkit/sources_of_health_data.pdf

  • Community Commons. This is an interactive mapping, data, and networking tool to support organizations in their efforts to create healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities. www.communitycommons.org

  • County Health Rankings. The County Health Rankings use county-level measures from a variety of state and national data sources to assess and rank the population health of nearly all counties in the U.S. This website allows users to view the rankings and to explore and download data, including statistics on length of life, self-reported general health, and a subset of health influences. www.countyhealthrankings.org

  • University of Kansas, Work Group for Community Health and Development, “The Community Toolbox” Best Change Processes. https://ctb.ku.edu/en/best-change-processes

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, DataHub. This website allows users to customize state-level data on key health and health care topics and visualize facts and figures. www.rwjf.org/en/research-publications/research-features/rwjf-datahub.html

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Statistics You Can Visualize, Customize & Share. This website provides links to health and environmental data from 23 states and one city. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data-visualization/index.htm

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. This is an annual, state-by-state phone survey of self-reported health outcomes used to determine national and state disease rates. www.cdc.gov/brfss/

Stakeholder Engagement (most relevant for Step 4)

Healthy Design References

  • Health Impact Project’s cross-sector toolkit for health. This toolkit offers a collection of health impact assessments, guides, and other research to support policymakers’ and practitioners’ efforts to consider health when making decisions across sectors, such as housing, planning, and education. An accompanying data interactive allows users to explore data on completed and in-progress health impact assessments (HIAs) in the U.S. www.pewtrusts.org/healthimpactproject/toolkit
  • Build Healthy Places Network Jargon Buster and MeasureUp tools may be particularly useful in the context of Health Action Plans. https://buildhealthyplaces.org/

  • Human Impact Partners. https://humanimpact.org/products-resources/issue-area/?filter=iss1-141 Some suggested tools and resources for your use are:

    • Roles for Collaborators. This document provides examples of different partners that might be involved in a HIAs and their roles.
    • Rapid HIA Model. This document provides guidance for conducting a HIA within a short timeline, while maintaining a high level of stakeholder engagement.

    • Data Sources Table. This table outlines data sources that may be useful in a Health Impact Assessment.

  • National Network of Public Health Institutes: Community Health Improvement. This website provides webinars, case studies, and resources regarding community health assessments and community health improvement tools and techniques. www.nnphi.org/program-areas/community-health-improvement

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Guide to Community Preventive Services. This guide summarizes evidence of community-level programs and policies to improve health and prevent disease based on a scientific systematic review process. www.thecommunityguide.org/


NYC Overlay: 

Projects that score a medium or high risk exposure rating in Heat, Precipitation, or Sea Level Rise from the Project Priorities Survey (Criterion 1.1) through the CRDG Exposure Screening Tool are highly encouraged to comply with this criterion.  Refer to the Design Strategies Checklist (Appendix 4 in CRDG version 3.0) to inform strategies.     https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/orr/pdf/NYC_Climate_Resiliency_Design_Guidel...




Optional | 10 points

Resilient Communities: Multi-Hazard Risk/Vulnerability Assessment

Date Posted:
May 16, 2023

As the Atlantic hurricane season approaches, we are focused on strategies that reduce risks for people and buildings associated with hurricanes, severe storms, and other wind events. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety’s FORTIFIED program is incorporated into the criteria as a resource to support project teams as they consider solutions to known project vulnerabilities as part of the Multi-Hazard Risk/Vulnerability Assessment.  FORTIFIED is a beyond-code construction and re-roofing standard designed to strengthen homes and commercial buildings against high winds, hail, hurricanes and even tornados, with a verification process that gives property owners and their insurers confidence that a FORTIFIED designation represents reduced risk. https://ibhs.org/fortified/.


The implications of climate change extend beyond disasters (shocks) to gradual changes (stressors, for example: chronic flooding and more frequent extreme heat days) that put vulnerable communities at an ever-increasing risk. We live in a world that has already warmed 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels thanks to climate change. Science finds that higher temperatures are causing a range of worsening impacts, and we’re already seeing damages. Low‐income communities are on the front lines of climate change and often have the least access to resources needed to recover from a disaster. With the increasing frequency of storms, floods, and other extreme weather events, the costs associated with not investing in resilience are rising rapidly. Investing in resilience before disaster strikes is one of the most cost-effective ways to protect residents and property while strengthening their ability to weather the increasingly severe storms ahead.

Creating affordable housing projects that will perform well during disasters also protects against the gradual changes to the environment we are experiencing. But developing such projects requires careful planning. The exercise of assessing vulnerabilities and creating a plan to mitigate appropriate risks will result in greater focus on this issue. Engaging in this exercise during the integrative design process will yield input from a variety of stakeholders and help you to incorporate measures that enhance resilience throughout the project design and construction documents.


Conduct a four-part assessment (social, physical, functional, strategy) to identify critical risk factors of your property and implement at least two sets of strategies to enable the project to adapt to, and mitigate, climate-related or seismic risks.

Your Multi-Hazard Risk/Vulnerabilities Assessment must:

  • Prioritize a deeper evaluation of applicable hazards (e.g., wildfires, flooding, seismic) identified in the state or county hazard mitigation plan for which your project is located.
  • Identify strategies that will be implemented that address, at least, the top three risk factors identified for your project.

  • Ensure that these implemented strategies that have been included in the project are referenced, documented, and explained in the Criterion 8.2.

Note: Criterion 1.1 requires project teams to create a generic evaluation of Climate and Environmental Resilience issues in Section 6 of the Project Priorities Survey. To earn optional points under Criterion 1.6, project teams must complete the above requirements.


  • Hold a series of facilitated charrettes and community meetings focused explicitly on identifying how the issues identified in your project’s state or county hazard mitigation plan apply to your project and your resident population.

  • Based on your multi-hazard/vulnerabilities assessment, identify solutions appropriate for your project, evaluate how these strategies overlap with the other criteria selected for your project, and determine the best means of implementation. Strategies should be appropriate to the unique residency of your building. For example, seniors-only buildings may have different needs from buildings that serve primarily family populations. Also consider and prioritize social and cultural needs your residents may identify.

  • Creating a safe and comfortable centralized location where residents and community members can share resources (e.g., water, food, electrical outlets) and disseminate relevant emergency information from building management is important when considering the immediate moments after an acute disruption. We also know that, during a disruption, residents tend to lean on their neighbors for support. Creating a safe, centralized location facilitates stronger social resilience within the community.

  • Enterprise’s Multifamily Resilience Manual includes more than a dozen strategies and specific guidance for building property resilience in the event of an emergency. Consider incorporating one or more of these measures into your property.


  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s hazard mitigation planning resources include a Mitigation Planning Handbook, guidelines for Sustainability in Mitigation Planning, Planning Advisory Service Reports, and examples of Mitigation Activities. www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-planning-resources

  • The National Hazard Mitigation Association (NHMA). Promotes natural hazard risk reduction and climate adaptation through planning, adaptation, and mitigation. The NHMA promotes steps to reduce the risk and consequences of natural events with a special emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable populations in our communities. http://nhma.info/

  • The Built Environment Coalition (BEC). Develops analytical approaches, methodologies, and tools to help communities and organizations identify opportunities to improve their built environment and make informed decisions on potential investments. www.builtenvironmentcoalition.org

  • The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH). The country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. www.flash.org

  • Department of Energy & Environment maintains resources on local climate projections and tools for adaptation and preparedness (https://doee.dc.gov/climateready). In particular, the Resilience Opportunity Assessment Tool can help you evaluate opportunities for resilience and feasibility of solar photovoltaics for your multifamily property.

  • Enterprise Green Communities, Ready to Respond Toolkit. Helps project teams complete Criterion 1.6, and provide further guidance on developing comprehensive plans to protect buildings, ensure continuity of housing service and engage residents on disaster preparedness. 


Optional | 8 points

Resilient Communities: Strengthening Cultural Resilience


Resident participation, cultural leadership, and community buy-in will help ensure a successful project. An inclusive process enables the project to be more reflective of community needs and benefits. Investing in trust building with the community can also mitigate community objection and create momentum for future development processes. This will save time and resources throughout project development and once the building is in operation.

Projects that have intentionally used a more inclusive and culturally relevant development process have benefited from quicker approvals as well as lower holding costs, vacancy rates, resident turnover and unit rollover costs for owners. These projects benefit from increased sense of shared ownership over public spaces, social accountability for upkeep and safety, and sense of belonging for residents.

An inclusive process enables the project to be more reflective of community needs and can yield the following benefits:

  • Increase the financial viability and sustainability of your project.

  • Build goodwill between the community and developer, mitigating community objection and creating momentum for future development processes.

  • Reduce antagonism in the development process and streamline decision-making, which saves times and money and increases interest from potential occupants.

  • Shift the paradigm of inequity that has determined how investments get made in communities.

  • Reverse the trend of displacing residents and small businesses, which has contributed to loss of community cohesion and further gentrification and inequity.

This criterion provides guidance for developers to integrate community and resident participation in development processes so that the built environment honors cultural identities, resident voices, and community histories. This is intended to contribute to an increase in social cohesion, health, and equity for their residents.


Strengthen cultural resilience through one of the options below.

Option 1: Complete a Cultural Resilience Assessment

With residents, identify community needs and assets. Complete the Cultural Resilience Assessment worksheet as you take the following actions:

  • Listen to community identified needs, assets, priorities, and insights as core inputs for the project mission.

  • Ground-truth any existing data or plans with community to gain more local insight and perspective from people’s lived experience and knowledge.

  • Identify factors in this project that may produce and perpetuate racial inequities: Determine what adverse impacts or unintended consequences could result from this project, which racial/ethnic groups could be negatively affected, and how adverse impacts could be prevented or minimized.

  • Share how these outputs impacted the project goals and strategies.


Option 2: Convene a Cultural Advisory Group

Convene and consult on a regular basis with a cultural advisory group. The advisory group must include local artists and culture bearers who give input on a range of decisions and guide the design and development team in the community planning process, ensuring the creation of spaces that are unique, reflective of resident cultures and representative of community values. As you convene your stakeholders, complete the Cultural Advisory Group Charter template, which specifies how to:

  • Define the group’s purpose, responsibilities, expectations, and incentives for participation.

  • Create a process for inviting and selecting advisory group members that prioritizes a diverse range of interests, knowledge, and experience, including age, roles, and relationship to targeted resident community.

  • Determine the parameters, practices, and terms with and for the cultural advisory group members’ role and service in this capacity.

  • Establish a process for ensuring that the advisory group’s input translates into project-specific goals and decisions.


Because equitable outcomes are a top priority, it is essential to be sensitive to those individuals/ community members who we are not hearing from and make sure they have a voice in the process.

It is critical that community residents see the development as an asset and something worth investing in, and that developers see residents as experts who know what they need. Engage residents early, and regularly thereafter, in setting priorities. Be clear about project constraints and opportunities.

Residents should be understood as community experts.

  • Invite interested residents to form an advisory group or small community leadership committee to regularly advise the project and include community perspective and values and to liaise and communicate between developer and residents.

  • Determine a form of compensation or stipend for community leadership roles.

  • Include the property staff and resident services coordinators in the design/goal setting.

Give all individuals involved the ability to have a voice in the process.

  • Create a space that allows participation from all in a way that elevates the voices of those less able or less heard.

  • Spend time in the community prior to a large community meeting, or set up individual time to meet with and hear input from community members, or to conduct one-on-one interviews and focus groups. This time could also be spent in small groups, using multiple forms of communication—verbal, written, drawn, etc.

  • Input can be informal or documented, depending on what feels appropriate to the context, and if you have permission from the participants.

  • Carve out staff time or hire a community outreach specialist with cultural competence to involve residents and/or facilitate meetings.

Go to where the people are.

  • Messaging about the project should come from a trusted community liaison (CBO, block club, community group, cultural leader, local elected official, etc.).

  • Get on the agenda of already scheduled community meetings, or co-host a cultural event with a trusted community leader or organization to talk about the project ideas and collect initial feedback.

  • Meet at a time and location that is convenient and accessible (typically weekday evenings or weekends) and provide a meal and childcare.


Compilations of tools and resources

  • IDEO’s field guide to human-centered design has some great tools within that could be adapted for this process. www.designkit.org/resources/1

  • Enterprise Community Partners, Made to Last. A field guide for community resilience that highlights five diverse community development organizations leveraging culture and creativity to strengthen community resilience. 

  • National Endowment for the Arts, How to do Creative Placemaking. www.arts.gov/publications/how-do-creative-placemaking

Equitable Community Engagement


Participatory Design

  • Participatory Design Toolkit. This toolkit, developed by a designer working in a community development organization, offers strategies to engage and involve the community in design projects. It is packed with activities, tips, and techniques to foster dialogue and create informed design goals. 



“Home is everything. Home is a place where you can be yourself. Home is a place where you feel protected.”

Resident of Enterprise Green Communities property