Resilience and NBS

A programme of work to help the built environment adapt to the impacts of climate change, embrace nature and promote biodiversity, by prioritising the use of Nature-based Solutions.


April 13, 2021


Policy & Advocacy, Research & Innovation



Our climate is changing and the consequential impact on our buildings, infrastructure and way of life are set to increase. The IPCC Special Report Global Warming of 1.5ºC found that we are already seeing the consequences of a 1ºC global temperature rise and that 1.5ºC is expected by 2030-2052. The UK Climate Projections found that in the UK we will see hotter drier summers and wetter windier winters. 

We are experiencing an ecological crisis. Biologists and geologists predict we are entering a human-caused sixth mass extinction event. Human impacts on the environment are substantial: 56% of monitored species declined in the UK between 1970 and 2013. 

Therefore, we hope that all those working in the built environment sector will support our ambition that “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”. 

To help our members and the wider built environment sector achieve this ambition we are undertaking a number of activities. They will all involve collaborating with members and we will announce these opportunities when they arise. To receive regular updates about our work on these topics please join the UKGBC Resilience, Nature and Biodiversity Interest Groups by emailing Hannah Giddings

Desired programme outcomes for 2021-2022 

  1. Enable more ambitious targets related toNature-based Solutions, climate resilience and environmental net gain, by developers, owners, and major occupiers 
  2. Increase the application ofNature-based Solutions in urban areas 
  3. Build consensus on how to measure, report, and mitigate the physical risks from climate change to individual built assets

Planned programme deliverables for 2021-22 

Principles for delivering urban Nature-based Solutions 

The principles are primarily intended to be used by developers, owners, operators, and occupiers of buildings within an urban context. The aim is to provide a concise overview of practical methods and best practice examples that empower influencers and decision-makers within these organisations to increase the use of urban NBS. This report was launched on April 29th and can be downloaded here. 

Measuring and Reporting Physical Risks 

Development and publication of a report that sets out guidance for industry on how to measure and report the physical risks to built assets from climate change. Content will be created via desktop research, workshops, interviews, and industry consultation. Throughout the process we will seek to bring together the real estate and construction sector with the finance sector, in order to build consensus on how best to measure and report the physical risks posed by climate change to the built environment.  

We are currently establishing a Task Group in order to assist us in the delivery of this resource, you can submit an application to join us on this exciting journey here. The deadline for applications is Friday 6th August.  

Cost-Benefit Review of using Nature-based Solutions 

Development and publication of a report that evaluates the financial costs and benefits of installing and managing various NBS on built assets and estates. This will also include an exploration of the likely costs of not utilising such solutions, recognising the greater costs of inaction against the climate and ecological crises.  

Research to be undertaken by a Task Group drawn from the programme partners, wider UKGBC membership, and key industry organisations. To include designers, cost consultants, owners, operators, and others. A ‘Call for Applications’ will be circulated in due course.  

Nature and Resilience Policy Playbook 

We will build upon the success of our New Homes and Retrofit Policy Playbooks to include matters of resilience, adaptation, biodiversity, and NBS. The Nature and Resilience Policy Playbook will be a resource pack designed to help cities and local authorities drive up the sustainability of new and existing homes, with some scope for future consideration of new commercial buildings. The content will be created through extensive member engagement, including a number of workshops.  

National Policy Advocacy 

Our focus this year is on a green stimulus in the post COVID-19 recovery, enabling more progressive policies and regulations. The UKGBC policy team will ensure the learnings from the programme are integrated into our national policy work. 

Solutions Library 

We will work with members and innovators to utilise our new Solutions Library and encourage new submissions. We will also continually update the library with case studies covered in our existing and emerging resources. You can submit your own Solutions and/or Case Studies now via our webpage. 

COP 26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion 

UKGBC is acting as secretariat for a coalition of 100+ partners across the built environment sector who are working together to give the sector a strong voice and presence at COP26. The Virtual Pavilion will include a Virtual Reality (VR) exhibition showcasing world-leading sustainable buildings, addressing key sustainability themes such as climate mitigation, and an events series will be delivered alongside it. For further information on upcoming opportunities and to be added to our mailing list, please see here.  

COP26 Directory  

UKGBC is publishing regularly updated editions of a built environment ‘directory’ – a resource detailing key assets and resources held by our members in and around Glasgow, for use by government officials, media, and other key stakeholders. If your organisation is interested in being featured in this directory, please contact Clara Sibaud.  

For further information on our COP26 advocacy and engagement, please visit our dedicated webpage. 

Presentations at UKGBC and industry events 

We will continue to present the programme outputs at UKGBC events, including Learning & Development courses, and at impactful industry events, including those related to COP26. 

This programme of work is made possible by our Programme Partners  

John Ellerman Foundation, ARUP, BuroHappold, CBRE, Federated Hermes, Hoare Lea, ISG.  


Related UKGBC projects 

Construction Innovation Hub Value Toolkit 

UKGBC is the Natural Capital lead on the Construction Innovation Hub’s Value Toolkit. We convened an industry steering group to assist the creation of a suite of tools that can support value-based decision-making across the investment lifecycle. Find out more here. 


We are one of 12 project partners working on the Greater Manchester IGNITION project. IGNITION is working to establish innovative financial models and mechanisms that can enhance the delivery of green infrastructure and NBS to create a more climate resilient city region.  

UKGBC resources