The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) recently launched a new industry guide on “Climate Change Resilience in the Built Environment,” collating effective and practical steps that can be taken on a building, community and city scale in order to adapt and build resilience to the changing climate.

Under the inevitable impacts of climate change, which are affecting at least 85% of the world’s population, bringing acute hazards such as droughts, rising sea levels, heat waves and floods increasing frequency and severity, resilience action is essential to build community capacity to survive and thrive in our built environments.

That’s why WorldGBC’s flagship Health and Wellbeing global programme Better Places for People (BPFP) has partnered with the UN High-Level Climate Champions and C40 Cities to deliver this timely resource for enabling adaptation at different urban scales and inspiring decisive action to deliver on the needs of communities around the world.

On November 10, 2022, during the Youth & Future Generations Day at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, and in line with “Resilience” being the UN High-Level Climate Champions’ focus of the day, the guide showcased at a high-level event in the Buildings Pavilion of the Blue Zone. This helped elevate awareness on the critical role of the built environment for securing a resilient future around the world.

“In Canada and around the world, unpredictable and severe weather events are becoming a fact of life. In the north, the effects of climate changes are experienced more acutely, but no region is unaffected,” says Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of Canada Green Building Council. “This guide stands as an important resource for both industry and governments, as they include resiliency along with net-zero for all buildings and infrastructure.”

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What is the aim of the guide?

The Climate Change Resilience in the Built Environment guide presents principles of built environment management for changes to weather related climate change impacts such as: storms, high winds, droughts, floods, severe temperature change, and wildfires. These principles are focused on measures of mitigation and damage protection from continual or gradual climate impacts and in some cases, extreme weather events.

The impacts of climate change and damage from extreme and gradual weather events will occur at building, community and city scale across all corners of the globe. Therefore, measures to mitigate damage and ensure recoverability must be implemented at a systemic level. To incorporate climate resilience strategies across a series of complex systems, all built environment stakeholders and decision makers will have to engage and take responsibility. Leadership from local and national government is essential to activate meaningful adaptation and resilience solutions.

WorldGBC encourages the broad range of built environment stakeholders set out in the guide to engage with their role, to exert their influence and implement change. Under the inevitable impacts of climate change, resilience action is essential if we are to build the community capacity to survive and thrive within our built environments.

We need to listen and learn from the voices of those communities most impacted by climate impacts – to respond adequately in the delivery of resiliency solutions.

WorldGBC is grateful for the support from the BPFP Steering Committee and Sponsors, including Buro Happold, Multiplex, Saint-Gobain, and Shaw Contract.

Read the complete guide by clicking here.

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Photo by Chris Gallagher on Unsplash

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