Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Climate resilience

In this article we explore what climate resilience means
Swans floating on water in a flooded town

If the previous steps looked at the risks associated with climate change on the built environment, then climate resilience is the ability to protect against such risks. They ways in which buildings can be made climate resilient will depend on local climatic conditions.

Climate resilience can be defined as ‘the capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the impacts of hazardous climatic events while incurring minimal damage to societal wellbeing, the economy and the environment.’ It is linked to climate adaptation; the process or action to change and adapt to a new climatic environment. Climate adaptation can increase our resilience to climate change.

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 such as asphalt and concrete.

Our buildings and natural environment can protect us from these hazards. Building and retrofitting resilience measures such as insulation, nature-based solutions and storm drainage into our buildings, communities and infrastructure can help ensure they remain comfortable and safe in the future.

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.

UKGBC also produced a sector ambition for climate resilience, that states: ‘By 2030, all buildings and infrastructure will, throughout their lifetime, be climate resilient and maximise environmental net gains, through the prioritisation of nature-based solutions.’

For more information on UKGBC’s work around climate resilience and nature, check out this webpage.

In the next section, we will take a look at how such risks can be measured and reported on.

This article is from the free online

An Introduction to Climate Change and Carbon Reduction in the Built Environment

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now