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Malibu Rebuilder Guide

Recommendations for a Fire-Resilient, Resource-Efficient and Affordable New Home


The Malibu Rebuilder Guide represents the culmination of a community engagement and resiliency planning process, supported by The Malibu Foundation. During this four month period, Terrapin Bright Green and several expert advisors worked with members of the Malibu community to understand challenges to rebuilding after the Woolsey fire. The information is intended for those considering rebuilding, those in the rebuilding process, and designers and engineers engaged in rebuild projects. Although this document was developed to support Malibu residents who lost their homes in the Woolsey fire, much of the content is applicable to greater California and even fire-prone areas nationwide.

The forty-seven recommendations in the guide were developed to address the most challenging aspects of rebuilding as told by community members during one-on-one interviews, the resilient rebuilding workshop held on September 14th, 2019, and numerous emails and phone correspondence. Each recommendation is organized under one of five topic areas and includes a summary of considerations, detailed action-steps and supporting resources. The document is not intended as an exhaustive list of fire-resilient rebuilding practices, but rather to encourage the use of key strategies that work particularly well within financial and time constraints.

An online version is also available on the Malibu Foundation’s website.


Terrapin would like to give a special thanks to The Malibu Foundation for sponsoring this effort and the many community members and topic experts whose support throughout this effort has made it so successful (see appendix for a full list of workshop attendees, interviewees and supporters). Terrapin would also like to thank our team of advisors and peer reviewers (listed below and in the appendix) for much of the technical content, and Catie Ryan for editorial support.


Dakota Walker, Terrapin Bright Green
Bill Browning, Terrapin Bright Green

Contributors & Peer Reviewers

Michael Kinsley, Kinsley Diplomacy
Alexis Karolides, Point Energy Innvoations
Alex Wilson, Resilient Design Institute
Juan Rovalo, Biohabitats
Julia Donoho, Homebound, Legal Constructs
Kavita Rodrigues, Southern California Edison
Laura Rosenthal, Former Mayor of Malibu
Dean Kubani, Chief Sustainability Officer, Santa Monica


Cover image for malibu rebuilder guide
Terrapin Report

Malibu Rebuilder Guide

Recommendations for a Fire-Resilient, Resource-Efficient and Affordable New Home

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