Our climate is changing, rapidly and dangerously. In the UK, climate change is causing hotter, driers summers and wetter, windier winters. These will have severe health, economic, and social impacts for our built environment and communities.

Together with our partners and members, UKGBC works across the sector and with Government to step up the speed and scale of action on climate resilience that better protects our homes and communities from the changing climate.

Why do we focus on climate resilience?

We are already experiencing the consequences of a 1.2ºC global temperature rise through more intense and frequent extreme weather across the UK. Those consequences are costing lives and livelihoods, now.

1.8 million homes are at significant risk of flooding, costing the UK economy £1.3 billion each year. Experts predict that a third of the English coastlines will face flood pressure by 2050. Storms Dennis and Ciara in 2020 saw 82,000 insurance claims for flood and wind damage, leading to more than £360 million paid out by insurers.

2.6 million people live in homes where excess cold poses serious and immediate risk to health and safety, costing the NHS £1.4 billion each year. In other seasons, 20% of homes currently experience overheating, even during relatively cool summers.

By 2050, threats posed by climate change could cost up to 4% of GDP – nearly twice the cost of the armed forces and more than the entire current UK budget deficit. The UK urgently needs to step up its efforts to build more resilient homes, towns, and cities.

Climate Resilience

What policies do we propose?

As the voice of our sustainable built environment, UKGBC is calling on the Government to:

Make sure new homes are fit for purpose

Amending building regulations to ensure climate resilience is robustly embedded, and new buildings built after 2025 are not uninsurable and unliveable.

Kick start a Nationwide Retrofit Campaign

As well as reducing carbon emissions, a retrofit campaign is needed to make homes more resilient to the impacts of our changing climate, including drought, flooding, and overheating.

Put climate resilience at the heart of planning

Stronger planning policies, clear indicators and more comprehensive data sources are needed to enable the development of more climate-resilient buildings and places.

Invest in nature-based solutions

Encouraging nature-based solutions and interventions are vital for delivering climate resilience, social value, and restoring nature.

NAP3 Policy Scorecard

Published during COP28, this scorecard outlines where the government is falling behind on the need to create a resilient built environment. On five out of seven critical climate resilience priorities, UKGBC’s scorecard finds that the Government policies in its Third National Adaptation Programme (NAP3) are insufficient, flawed, or missing, placing millions of homes and buildings – and the lives of people occupying them –  at serious risk of damage from climate-related disaster.

The scorecard analyses policies affecting both existing buildings and new builds and their adaptation to the most serious climate risks including water scarcity, overheating, flooding, and coastal erosion, awarding each a rating of green (progress in line with UKGBC recommendations) amber (positive or partial but insufficient progress) or red (failing to deliver or actively hindering progress). No areas received a green rating, indicating that the UK built environment is not sufficiently adapted to the present and future risks posed by any of the threats assessed by UKGBC.

Our work so far

CIWEM Collaboration

Working with Chartered Institute for Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) to call for the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to set mandatory standards for delivery and adoption of SuDS in new developments.

Climate Change Adaptation

UKGBC’s work on Climate Change Adaptation empowers industry to build resilience.

Holding government to account

We want tangible, trackable commitments and clear policies that deliver more resilient and regenerative buildings and places for people to live