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.

Impacts of climate change on buildings

Our weather is changing, becoming more volatile. Extreme weather events resulting from climate change have intensified over the last decade, posing significant challenges to the resilience of the built environment.

Built assets in the UK are at risk from a variety of climate-related hazards. These can be divided into two areas. First, chronic hazards, which are slow to progress and cover long term changes to hazards such as changes to temperature, wind, precipitation, and soil erosion.

The second element comprises acute hazards. These are extreme in nature, occur quickly, and can include hazards such as heatwaves, storms and blizzards, droughts, floods and subsidence.

Other hazards may be relevant, depending on asset location and adjacency to geographical features, such as rivers or coastal areas.

Implementation of adaptation in the building sector

Different stakeholders have different responsibilities and requirements as we transition to deliver more resilient buildings.

Designers and architects

Need to draw up plans for buildings with climate resilience in mind. They will design in adaptation strategies including shutters, insulation, nature-based solutions and storm drainage systems, their motivation being the creation of resilient buildings which will be in use for years to come.

Asset owners, developers and the investment community

Need to understand the risks their buildings face due to climate change. Measuring these risks, and reporting them to their clients as well as via TCFD where required , is vital, as is mitigating the potential for damage arising from such risks, where possible, to avoid assets becoming ‘stranded’, at risk of obsolescence. Investment in adaptation measures is critical.


Need to understand how climate risk fits into their portfolio and adapt accordingly. Without this knowledge they will be unable to assess the risk they face and how to deal with it.

Local Authorities

Must implement climate resilience to enhance the sustainability of new and existing developments in line with local and national obligations and plans, and for the long-term well-being, comfort and resilience of their communities.