Resilience and NBS
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 theses topics please join the UKGBC Resilience, Nature and Biodiversity Interest Groups by emailing Chris Moss.
Desired programme outcomes for 2021-2022
- Enable more ambitious targets related to nature-based solutions, climate resilience and environmental net gain, by developers, owners, and major occupiers
- Increase the application of nature-based solutions in urban areas
- 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 will be launched on April 28th at this event.
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.
A Task Group will help deliver the report, drawn from the programme partners, wider UKGBC membership, and key industry organisations, such as the Green Finance Initiative and BBP. The 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 from climate change to individual built assets.
Cost benefit review of using NBS
Development and publication of a report that evaluates the financial costs and benefits of installing and managing various NBS on built assets and estates. To also include investigation of the likely costs of notusing such solutions. It is hoped that some of the evidence will come from live projects, including that the programme partners are involved in. The rest of the 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, and operators.
Local Authority Policy Guidance
We will expand our New Homes Policy Playbook to include physical risk, biodiversity, and NBS. It is a resource pack designed to help cities and local authorities drive up the sustainability of new homes. We may also create a version for new commercial buildings. The content will be created through extensive member engagement including 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.
Case study library
We are relaunching the UKGBC case study library in May, together with a proforma process to streamline the submission process for members. This year we will start to add case studies on resilience, biodiversity, and NBS.
COP26 Directory and engagement
We have put together a COP26 Directory of speakers, venues and site visits put forward by UKGBC members. This will be regularly updated and used in the run up to and at COP with government officials and press. We have submitted an “expression of interest” to the government’s COP team to run an industry-led panel on the measurement and reporting of physical climate risks to built assets.
Presentations at UKGBC and industry events
We will continue to present the programme outputs at UKGBC events, including L&D courses, and at impactful industry events, including those related to COP26.
This programme of work is made possible by our Programme Partners
Related UKGBC projects
Construction Innovation Hub Value Toolkit
UKGBC is the Natural Capital lead on the Construction Innovation Hub’s Value Toolkit. We have convened an industry steering group to create a suite of tools to support value-based decision making across the investment lifecycle. Find out more here.
We are project partners on the Greater Manchester IGNITION project which will establish the financial mechanisms to deliver green infrastructure for the purpose of creating a more climate resilient city region.
- Briefing paper: Building a market for Greener cities – In September 2020, the British Conservation Alliance and UKGBC held a webinar with The Rt Hon Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State (Minister for the Pacific and the Environment), Conservative MPs and industry representatives in order to discuss the issue of how we create sustainable mechanisms for greening existing buildings. This briefing provides a summary of what was discussed.
- Nature-based solutions to the climate emergency: The benefits to business and society – This report is a curation of the existing evidence that demonstrates the economic, environmental and societal benefits that nature-based solutions provide.
- Climate resilience and embracing nature: An ambition for the built environment – In November 2019, UKGBC, together with its members and wider industry, launched our sector ambition for climate resilience and nature-based solutions which we hope acts as a focal point to galvanise industry action on responding to the climate and ecological crisis.
- Making the Case for Green Infrastructure: Lessons from Best Practice – This report provides case study insights into green infrastructure decision making from the project teams and stakeholders involved.
- Course Mail Series 4 – Nature and Biodiversity in the Built Environment – Sign up to UKGBC’s Course Mail series for on-demand learning on nature & biodiversity, delivered in weekly easy-to-read emails.
- Practical how-to guide: Developing and implementing a green infrastructure strategy – This report provides insights into the practical steps to integrate green infrastructure into city projects.
- Response to Defra’s Biodiversity Net Gain Consultation – In recognition of the importance of this topic to our members we responded to Defra’s consultation on biodiversity net gain in February 2019.
- Insights into Nature and Biodiversity – We uncovered the drivers and barriers behind our Gold Leaf members’ enhancing and protecting nature and biodiversity. As well as providing key insights on the state of nature in the UK, positive industry trends, the business case for nature, and a timeline of government policy and work.
- Biodiversity net gain actor and resource map – We have developed a new tool which helps professionals better understand the landscape of initiatives and policy being worked on specifically around biodiversity net gain.
- Climate resilience actor and resource map – We have developed a new tool which helps professionals better understand the landscape of initiatives and policy being worked on specifically around climate resilience.
- Climate resilience awareness raising resources. Since 2018, we have produced a number of resources including videos to raise awareness of the impacts that climate change will have on the built environment and of the opportunities to adapt.
- Demystifying Green Infrastructure – In 2015 we produced guidance on the business case for green infrastructure and practical steps for implementation.