Resilience and NBS

A programme of work to help the built environment adapt to the impacts of climate change, embrace nature and promote biodiversity, through 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 theses topics please join the UKGBC Resilience, Nature and Biodiversity Interest Groups by emailing Chris Moss.

Desired programme outcomes for 2021-2022

  1. Enable more ambitious targets related to nature-based solutions, climate resilience and environmental net gain, by developers, owners, and major occupiers
  2. Increase the application of nature-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 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.

UKGBC resources