Perhaps one of the most important environmental impacts at the moment is that of carbon emissions. Would it be a good idea to be able to quantify how many people are affected per tonne of carbon emitted? Yes it would, because this can then be used in wellbeing accounting and then managed accordingly.
Back in December 2014, 75 housebuilders, social landlords, architects and others representing 208,047 homes in the UK participated in our survey, produced with the Zero Carbon Hub, on overheating in homes. The survey asked participants to describe, for example, how they define and assess overheating risk in residential properties. It also asked those responding to say what was motivating them to take action. Customer satisfaction came high on the list. Other incentives included having had overheating problems in the past, and the presence of local authority requirements in Local Plans.
Climate change is set to increase the frequency and magnitude of severe flooding events in the UK. A new study ‘Projections of future flood risk in the UK’ finds that by the 2050s an additional half a million homes are projected to flood. Over £200 billion worth of assets are at risk in Britain.
Parks and greenery in built up areas can reduce overheating by 1oC. And people’s actual reception of comfort from parks and greenery equates to nearly 2oC cooling. That is the finding from a recent review paper in Building and Environment scientific journal.
There is increased attention being put on building homes that are fit for the future, but 85% of our current homes will still be around in 2050. With global temperatures set to rise anywhere between 1°C and 4°C, there is a growing concern about how these homes will cope with the future climate.
We always knew that the new Government’s first priority was not going to be clean air or the environment. It is though still surprising to see the brazen way in which it is being downplayed, especially as we are told the Government still supports the global 2 degree climate change target. Does it? Can it square the circle? Let’s have a look at the impact of yesterday’s Budget announcements.
On Wednesday, THE REVIEW: UK social landlords – environmental performance 2014/15, was launched at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Westminster. The report summarises the key findings from the last round of assessments that accredited landlords have undergone and the progress they have made on various environmental performance measures, from the energy efficiency of homes through to flood and overheating risks and resident engagement.
NASA and the University of California have recently announced that melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet is “unstoppable with major consequences”. The findings mean that sea level projections will need to be revised upwardly, closer to 4 feet of sea level rise.