Landlords: Adapting to climate change?

The impacts of climate change have been known for a while but recent news reports on water shortages have highlighted how important it is to be prepared.

Sustainable Homes has a new tool for cost effectively modelling climate change risk assessment for thousands of existing properties. This has proven particularly useful for social housing landlords who want to find out how their stock may be affected by future climate change, but don’t have the resources to carry out the assessment on a home by home basis.

The methodology assesses the three main impacts of climate change that are projected in the coming years, namely flood risk, overheating and water scarcity. The methodology combines existing; government approved tools and databases in a unique way, so that the three risks can be assessed using property data, typically held by asset managers.

This is a huge bonus for asset managers, as to do the analysis on a home by home basis would take up immense resources. The process results in an assessment, down to address level, which can then be used to identify homes at highest risk.

A recent assessment found that a projected 28% of properties were particularly vulnerable to overheating, 9% vulnerable to flood risk and 97% of properties were contributing to water scarcity in a region.

To combat this, simple mitigation recommendations were also included in the assessments, which enabled the landlord to prepare its stock for forthcoming years.

  • The benefits include:
    • less remediation work after flood events
    • less health risks from properties particularly vulnerable to overheating
    • lower water bills for residents
    • sufficient water in areas of high risk of water scarcity
    • landlord cost savings when combined with developing a fuel poverty strategy

Sovereign Kingfisher has used the methodology and Surveyor – Technical, Sian Lewis-Harding has said, “The analysis provided by Sustainable Homes has enabled us to highlight which of our properties are most at risk from future impacts. This means we can anticipate which of our homes will need what kind of works and we can start planning accordingly. The effects of climate change are increasingly more apparent and it is reported to start having an effect as early as 2020, it is never too early to begin adaptation.”

Sustainable Homes Managing Director, Andrew Eagles, commented, “We are encouraged that all the landlords we work with are committed to reducing carbon emissions. What the UK needs to do as well is to identify and rectify those existing properties that will be affected by historic carbon emissions, and we want to work with landlords who are concerned to protect their properties from the threat that climate change brings.” He added, “This new methodology will do just that and has the spin-off benefit of bringing increased well-being and reduced utility bills to residents.”

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