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.
New research was published last week on the work registered social landlords are doing to improve their environmental performance. Environmental benchmarking is improving processes and helping to save thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions and millions of cubic meters of water, as well as improving the homes and lives of residents.
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching on Saturday there is a lot of talk about love and happiness. It may just be that housing can provide the NHS with quite a nice Valentines present by reducing health visits by the thousands and saving the NHS millions. But how?
We all know there is a link between quality of housing and health of residents. We were commissioned by the London Climate Change Partnership (LCCP); to investigate the actual costs and benefits of considering adapting our homes to a changing climate. The work analysed the impact of adaptation works to 200 homes in the Colne and Mersea tower blocks in Barking and Dagenham in London, to provide evidence to help landlords make the case for adaptation.
One of the many difficulties with persuading the venerable human psyche we all possess that it is really – no really – time to act on climate change is that for most in the UK it remains a fundamentally abstract notion. Most, but not all – as was alarmingly demonstrated in recent memory on the Somerset Levels and elsewhere. Similarly, the issue of overheating, leading to what are somewhat-callously known as ‘excess deaths’, are rightly becoming a media focal point each summer as much as those from the cold in winter.
Representatives from leading housing associations, local authorities, consultancies, universities and architecture companies gathered at a Breakfast at Sustainable Homes (B@SH) event on 1st May. Held at the London’s Living Room, City Hall, in partnership with Green Sky Thinking week, the morning’s discussion and debate focused on flooding and what actions we can take.
The UK is seeing an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather conditions such as flooding, heat waves and water scarcity. The Sustainable Development Commission estimates that 70% of housing stock that will be inhibited in 2050 has been built. A relationship between dwellings construction age and impacts of the climate change has been established. Most of the social housing was not built with climate change in mind. It means that effective measures have to be taken during retrofitting to adopt homes to suit our changing climate.
As floods have increased in the last few months in UK and recent reports mentioning that this will continue as the river and groundwater levels continue to rise, we should all be able to recognise the possible damages that floods may cause to our properties.
Sustainable Homes is aware of the damaging impact the recently flooding has had on thousands of homes. This is a growing problem. Malcolm Tarling, Spokesman, Association of British Insurers has commented “We are seeing an increase in the frequency of these large scale events. Getting a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours is becoming the norm.”
The world’s climate and weather patterns are changing. Global temperatures are rising causing more extreme weather conditions. According to current projections, the average annual temperature in the UK might rise by as much as 5oC by 2080. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events have demonstrated how Great Britain is affected by climate change. Examples include the floods throughout the country during the summer season in 2012 or most recently during the Christmas period 2013 as well as the drought and heat waves of early 2012. In the coming decades, an increase in the frequency and severity of the severe weather conditions is projected.