Feature Article

Assessing Climate Hazards: The First Step in Resilient Design

The tools for conducting a multi-hazard exposure analysis are available if you know where to look. 

wildfire
Photo: U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. License: Public domain.
The headlines are everywhere—from heat waves in Europe to wildfires in the Western U.S. to tidal flooding in Florida. In this age of climate change, just as there’s an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses, we also need to adapt and invest in resilience.

The finance community really gets it, says Janice Barnes, founder of Climate Adaptation Partners in New York City. Rating agencies like Moody’s have started asking “Do you know the climate, are you aware of your vulnerability to it, and do you have a budget in place to address those [risks]?” says Barnes. It’s the people who have to “put a dollar value on the investment” that “have gotten comfortable with the risk exposure conversation.” Risk leaders in private organizations, insurers, and investors are all asking, “Is this investment [in real estate] going to be a good investment over time? What am I getting myself into in terms of the operations and maintenance [budget]?”  

That’s now trickling down into what’s being asked of designers and master planners. Increasingly, owners are asking for risk assessments to inform strategies for resilient design. ASTM even has a Property Resilience Assessment standard under development. This article provides sources for the first step of a risk assessment: identifying hazards and understanding exposure.

Published September 6, 2022

Wilson, A., & Pearson, C. (2022, August 23). Assessing Climate Hazards: The First Step in Resilient Design. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/feature/assessing-climate-hazards-first-step-resilient-design