Our buildings and infrastructure must be adapted to ensure they remain fit for the future. As the climate crisis intensifies and extreme weather events become more common, the UK’s buildings, cities and critical infrastructure, and the communities that use and occupy these, are in increasing danger. It’s vital to address how our buildings and infrastructure can be adapted to remain fit for the future. 

Key climate change adaptation statistics

20 %
60 %

Climate change adaptation & resilience

With the advancing climate crisis comes hazards such as increasing temperatures, changing patterns of rainfall, periods of drought and increased flooding, all of which pose major threats to the built environment and those who inhabit it.   

The built environment has a critical role to play in reducing our vulnerability to climate risk. Cities and urban areas typically increase exposure to physical hazards; for example, built up areas increase the Urban Heat Island effect or increase the likelihood of flooding due to many impermeable surfaces. 

Our buildings and natural environment can protect us from these hazards; ensuring they are comfortable and safe environments for users is critical. If transport infrastructure is affected by climate change-related events, businesses and organisations suffer dire economic consequences.  

Our industry is becoming acutely aware of the urgent need to respond to the increasing threat of climate risks and rapidly build and retrofit resilience measures into our buildings, communities and infrastructure.  This is vital to alleviate risks to businesses and the economy, but also crucially to support the health and quality of life of the people who live and work in our built areas.  

UKGBC, adaptation & resilience

At UKGBC, our goal is for the built environment to be net zero, climate resilient and regenerative.  

This ambition requires all stakeholders to recognise the threat that climate change poses, assess the risks being faced, and pursue adaptation and resilience solutions rigorously. 

Individually, built environment professionals have a key role to play in adapting to the climate, from assessing risks to built assets and creating actionable plans, designing buildings that can handle the impacts of extreme weather, to funding extra resilience measures for our cities. 

However, a significant gear shift is required to drive systemic and institutionalised change across the industry, with a focus on delivering the scalable and widespread actions necessary to increase the UK’s resilience to climate change. Nature-based solutions should be prioritised, since they can deliver multiple holistic benefits, such as air quality improvements, health, well-being and biodiversity gains. 

Currently, the built environment sector lacks the definitions, targets and metrics necessary to support sector-wide climate resilience which is why UKGBC is working with our network to co-create science-based, industry-wide targets through our Resilience Roadmap project, due for publication next year. 

Physical Risk

As we look to build climate resilience into our buildings and communities, it is key that asset owners understand the specific physical climate risk their assets face before they can work to adapt them to our changing climate.

Resilience Roadmap

We need to understand how to measure our resilience, establish industry-wide targets and pinpoint essential actions and policies to achieve them.

Policy advocacy

UKGBC works with government departments on key policies and recommendations to enhance the resilience of the built environment.

Sign up for to receive our Resilience and Nature newsletter

Resilience & Nature Partners

Our climate change adaptation work is supported by our Resilience & Nature Partners.


Get involved

Blogs on climate change adaptation

All Climate Change Adaptation Resources