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An example of adaptation in new-build design: Hinguar School

The case for resilience

Innovate UK has launched a report on the case for resilience and adaptation to the built environment in the face of climate change

Posted by Dave Higgitt | December 08, 2014 | People, policy, politics, money

The UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK (previously the Technology Strategy Board), launched a report at Resilience14 exploring what makes a sound business case for climate change adaptations within the built environment. The report ‘The business case for adapting buildings to climate change: niche or mainstream?’ follows on from Innovate UK's ‘Design for Future Climate (D4FC)’ project, which closed last year.

That three-year programme saw 50 projects given a total of £5 million to increase climate resilience in their buildings. In 2013 RIBA and Innovate UK published a book looking at the technical aspects and processes discovered during the project. The report launched at Resilience14 focuses specifically on the cogent and persuasive business cases that can underpin successful and practical climate change adaptation measures.

Says Mark Wray, lead technologist for low impact building at Innovate UK: “As there are no tax or legislative drivers to push resilience adaptation into the mainstream, there is an overwhelming need for designers, investors, contractors and developers to be made aware of the market drivers there are for resilience. This report aims to push the consideration of resilience-related adaptation from niche research into an accepted and conventional business consideration.”

The report includes examples across a range of projects, including housing, schools, museums, libraries, hospitals, offices, and swimming pools, most being adaptations in new-build designs, with some substantial refurbishments of existing buildings.

Continues Mark: “We chose to launch the report at Resilience14 because its audience included professionals from across the built environment. We've already spoken to a lot of designers, but need to involve investors, developers, professional bodies, policy makers, contractors and end users. We can show that the entire supply chain has the opportunity to be involved with and benefit from climate adaptations. The next step is to build a community of understanding, as happened with the energy-efficiency campaign a decade ago.”

The full version of the report is accessible online at

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