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Natural Environment

European Climatic Risk Toolkit

An RICS research report and online tool will help the built environment sector in eight European countries to determine the risk and impact climate change will have on non-domestic, or commercial, buildings.

25 September 2017

The global impact of the built environment

The effects of climate have always been a major consideration when planning and designing effective and efficient buildings. Until recently buildings were planned with an underlying expectation that local climatic conditions would hold to historical patterns. Now with mounting evidence of unprecedented climate changes,and growing frequency of disruptive weather events, such assumptions are no longer sufficient. Finding new ways of planning and adapting buildings for a much more dynamic future climate is challenging and complex, but also imperative if buildings are to remain effective and efficient for the duration of their intended lives.

This report provides thoughtful insight into the impacts of climate change on our built environment, and creates tools which may be very helpful to industry participants in refining their strategies for their properties looking forward.

Of particular note is the finding that even well prepared buildings may still be at risk depending on their sources of energy; so while carbon emissions may actually fall over time, the impact of climate change on fuel supply and prices may still result in higher operational costs.

Eight countries in focus

The report focusses on eight countries: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Sweden and Norway.

It seeks to understand who climate change will affect, what the energy demand may be, what the operational costs may be and the carbon emissions for six types of buildings, namely, offices, retail buildings, schools, hospitals, warehouses and buildings used for leisure.

Using the policy background, the level of success of regulations and other available data in each country to project, the report presents likely scenarios of what could happen in the future.

The report and toolkit provides practical tools and insights to anticipate the risks that climate change may pose to their non-domestic assets.

A more equitable future is within reach. First, we must harness the enormous potential of the 21st century’s people, places and spaces. #WBEF