Approach to assess physical climate risk for buildings

Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC)
The Netherlands

Together with the Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC), we are developing an approach to assess physical climate risk for buildings. This is also called the ‘gross climate risk’ for buildings. This project is part of the larger project ‘Framework for Climate Adaptive Buildings’.

Why a gross climate risk for buildings?
There is an increasing demand for climate risk analyses from the real estate sector. A climate risk analysis provides an assessment of the physical risks of climate change for a building. Real estate parties and scientists want a level playing field, based on open climate data and full transparency about the methods used.

What does the project entail?
Together with the Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC) and many other parties, we are working on an approach to assess the climate risks for every building. It is a broad collaboration of financial institutions, knowledge institutes, consultants and governments. At the end of the project, we want to present a publicly available report with an accompanying online ‘shop window’. This way, everyone will be able to use this approach without having to pay for it.

What is the aim of the project?
Ultimately, we want this joint approach to be used as a basis for a first, high-level climate risk analysis of buildings. The approach is based on the best available, freely accessible Dutch national data. The aim is also that this approach will be widely supported. With this joint ‘framework for climate adaptive buildings’ we want to lay the foundation for a common language and a level playing field for climate adaptation in the built environment. By referring to freely available data, with transparency on the underlying methods, we hope to improve the comparability and reproducibility of climate risk analyses.

What is the role of CAS?
Together with several knowledge institutions and real estate parties, CAS will develop an approach to determine the ‘physical climate risk’. This project is the first step in DGBC’s larger project ‘Framework for Climate Adaptive Buildings’. This approach will be reviewed by researchers from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, HKV Lijn in water and Deltares. They will, for example, also look at new scientific insights, new climate scenarios and new data sources.

What happens next in the project?
After an approach to identify the physical climate risk has been developed, the parties will jointly develop an approach to determine the ‘net risk’. This is determined by the physical climate risk and the various building characteristics that influence the   building vulnerability. This ‘net risk’ then determines the final assessment for how climate-proof a building is. This method is being tested on various building types, such as offices, retail premises and homes. We also want to incorporate the lessons learned from various banks and investors who have already gained experience in calculating climate risks.

Overview of measures
As soon as the biggest climate risks for a building are known, the next step is to reduce those risks. That is why DGBC also wants to make an overview of measures that can reduce the risks of droughts, flooding and heat. These can be measures on the building, but also in the surrounding area. And where possible, the overview will also show the effect of a measure.

More information
Would you like to know more about this project? Please contact Felix van Veldhoven.