• Why focus on sustainability?

    Because the money we spend on disaster response and property restoration should be an investment in a stronger, safer, healthier, more energy efficient and environmentally responsible future. Each year U.S. property owners face billions of dollars in damages – from localized fire and water damage, to large-scale natural disasters. It all adds up to a staggering cost. But each loss, small or large, is also an opportunity restore and rebuild properties in a way that is better for public health and safety, our environment, businesses and the entire economy.




    $1.1 trillion

    cost of 203 extreme weather events in the U.S. since 1980, including $180 billion in natural catastrophe losses in the last 10 years from thunderstorms and tornadoes.


    extreme weather events affecting property owners in 2016 each cost over $1 billion, including 7 thunderstorm/tornado events, 1 hurricane, 2 hailstorms, 3 floods and 1 wildfire.

    $156 billion

    total property losses (not including national flood insurance claims) for the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history - eight of which occurred in the last 15 years.

    $1.5 trillion

    projected reconstruction cost for 6.8 million properties at risk of hurricane storm surge, including 800,000 properties with a reconstruction value of $191 billion that are vulnerable to even the weakest category 1 hurricane.

    $52 billion

    National Flood Insurance Program claims paid since 1978 with the average $30,000 per residential claim and $75,000 per commercial claim.

    $17 billion

    total U.S. flood losses in 2016, six times greater than 2015 - including six 1,000-year plus rainfall events and the second consecutive year of inland flooding from hurricanes.

    $10 billion

    annual homeowners losses from non-flood water damage

    $10.3 billion

    damage from 500,000 structure fires in the U.S. in 2015


    wildfires in 2016 damaged thousands of residential and commercial properties

    $500 billion

    projected reconstruction cost for 1.8 million homes in the western US that are in high risk wildfire zones.

  • Who Benefits?

    Energy & Environment

    In the US, buildings account for:

    36% of total energy use

    65% of electricity use

    30% of greenhouse gas emissions, raw materials use and waste output

    12% of drinking water consumption


    We know that sustainable buildings can bring these numbers way down.  But that's not the whole equation: the disaster response and property restoration process itself has an environmental footprint that we can improve.

    The American Public

    The average american spends 90% of their time indoors. Let's take every opportunity to spend that time in healthier, safer, more comfortable and economical homes, offices, schools and businesses - ones that use less energy and help us breathe cleaner air inside and out.


    What better moment to get this right than rebuilding after a disaster? That's a question for every taxpayer to consider. From 2011-2013, $136 billion in federal disaster relief spending averaged nearly $400 per household per year.

    The Economy

    Sustainable disaster response and property restoration is quite simply about rebuilding a stronger economy. Homeowners and businesses reinvest energy savings. Commercial property owners improve tenant satisfaction and employee productivity. Insurers turn claims into a downpayment on risk reduction and resiliency. Public health benefits accrue broadly. And businesses throughout the disaster response life-cycle create, expand and shape the market for green products and services.

    Smart Government

    Federal assistance for resilience, or “pre-disaster mitigation,” has actually declined over the past decade. Disaster response can't afford to be short sighted, and it shouldn't be driven by politics.


    Let's make sure governments at all levels are using taxpayer dollars to prepare and respond in a way that protects public safety and essential services, while advancing environmental protection, energy security, and economic growth and competitiveness.

  • Our Mission

    SDRC promotes sustainability in disaster response and property restoration - helping american homes, businesses and communities turn every loss into smart investments in a stronger, safer, healthier and environmentally responsible future.


  • Who We Are

    SDRC brings together a diverse group of leaders who are committed to advancing best practices for sustainable disaster recovery and restoration. Our members and strategic partners represent:

    • disaster response and property restoration firms

    • large property owners & managers

    • the architecture, engineering and construction community

    • the insurance sector

    • experts from industry trades, NGOs, academia and government


  • SDRC Staff

    Stephen Bushnell, President

    Steve oversees SDRC's strategy, programs and day-to-day operations. He is founder and Principal of Stephen Bushnell + Associates, which advises clients on sustainability and risk management. He has over 40 years of U.S. property & casualty insurance experience – where he is widely credited for developing the first and most innovative sustainability solutions for commercial and residential property owners. Steve is a leading expert on the risk-reduction and broad environmental, social and economic benefits of sustainable buildings and communities. From 2012-2015, he served as the first and only insurance and risk management professional elected to U.S. Green Building Council National Board of Directors. In 2016, he transitioned to USGBC's newly created Advisory Council. 


    Stefan Mueller, Vice President

    Stefan is a Managing Director at SEM Advisors in Washington, DC – which staffs and administers the SDRC. He is an expert in organizing consulting groups and issue/advocacy coalitions that drive sustainability in the public and private sector – and has provided strategic, program development, government affairs and other guidance to both U.S. and multi-national companies, as well as leading environmental groups and other nonprofits. He has worked extensively with various business councils and public-private partnerships focused on energy, environmental and natural resource challenges facing the insurance sector, real estate, and governments at the local, state and federal level.

  • Member Benefits

    Disaster Response & Property Restoration Firms download >

    Manufacturers download >


    SDRC builds valuable connections, not only among the various product/service providers and professionals that respond to disasters - but also with  property owners, insurers governments, nonprofits and other stakeholders.  Opportunities to collaborate emerge at every level - from policy advocacy and educating the market before disasters strike, to responding to both large and small loss events in a way that is sustainable and therefor simply better for property owners, the economy and our environment.


    We are a community of practice - where disaster response stakeholders raise questions and find answers. Our membership category-focused research, case studies and expert viewpoints show how and why sustainability should be prioritized as part of smarter disaster response. And our standards will provide a framework to educate and differentiate sustainability leaders. 


    As a member-driven association, our research, advocacy, certification and education programs are guided by our member's intellectual capital and experience in the marketplace. SDRC members help shape the SDRC mission and actively participate in the development and revision of SDRC standards. 


    We recognize our members as leaders in the marketplace via the SDRC logo, member list, product/service directory, communications (press kit, webinars, blogs, presentations, annual summit) and opportunities to sponsor and exhibit at SDRC meetings, events and publications.  The SDRC standards differentiate certified professionals, assess the sustainability of reconstruction and property restoration projects, and validate the products, services and operation of disaster response contractors.  

  • What we do





  • Certification

    SDRC will develop two industry standards - one to define and validate sustainability throughout the life-cycle of common disaster response and property restoration projects, and another to certify the sustainability of disaster response and property restoration contractors' products, services, and operations.  In doing so, we will incorporate, reference and build effective links to other evolving codes and standards that govern the safety, quality and performance of building products, services and professionals.

  • Education

    SDRC education programs and professional credentials will focus on helping our members and their stakeholders leverage SDRC standards to validate the sustainability of disaster response and property restoration projects, as well as associated contractors' products, services and operations. Education will also be available to leaders in government and civil society who share our mission.  

  • Research

    SDRC features the latest expert viewpoints, research and case studies from across our members and strategic partners – creating a unique knowledge base that covers the challenges, opportunities and best-practices for sustainable disaster response and property restoration. We also facillitate collaborative research, discussion forums and ad-hoc working groups across our members and with their broader stakeholders. 

  • Advocacy

    From Congress, the White House and federal agencies, to governors, state legislatures, insurance regulators and the standards and codes bodies that govern the building sector - SDRC will advocate for policies that prioritize sustainability in disaster response and property restoration. In doing so we help public sector leaders connect the dots between our mission and existing programs and funding for infrastructure, energy & the environment, public health, and other priorities.



  • Save the Date

    October 5-7, 2016 - Los Angeles


    Find us at Greenbuild, the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building.

  • SDRC News

    2/28/17 - US Green Building Council joins the Sustainable Disaster Response Council

    5/16/16 - SDRC Featured in Restoration & Remediation Magazine

  • Contact us


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