We take into account many factors when future-proofing our homes, including economics and affordability, design expectations, changing demographics and household composition. Future-proofing our homes also means managing climate change risks, such as flooding, overheating and water shortage.
Flooding is the major climate change risk in the UK, whether from surface water runoff or from river and coastal floods. In line with legislation, we undertake flood risk assessments and prepare appropriate flood and water management plans on all our developments. In 2019, we introduced Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems on 67% of our developments. We work closely with our partners, consultants, and contractors to develop effective mitigation and protection measures.
The measures we designed to protect homes at Bath Western Riverside underwent the best possible test early in 2015 when torrential rains hit the South West. The flood compensation scheme we put in place did exactly what it was designed to do and protected the development when the Avon rose over its banks. The specially designed area called ‘the Scoop’ allowed the excess water to collect safely before gradually subsiding back into the river without threatening homes and buildings.
As temperatures slowly rise in the UK the risk of overheating in homes becomes more serious, especially in well-insulated new homes. While airtightness and low energy bills from highly insulated new homes are good news for customers, we must balance this with a design and features that ensure our customers can still enjoy a well-ventilated, comfortable living environment.
We have mitigation measures in place to reduce the risk of overheating in our homes. Overheating assessments take place on all developments and dynamic modelling and associated mitigation measures are implemented for plots with a medium or high risk of overheating. To further combat overheating risk, our new house types have been modelled for the worst case scenario of overheating, allowing us to mitigate the risk through design.
Water shortage is a growing issue worldwide, made worse in some regions due to changes in the global climate. It’s vital that homes are designed with features to help occupiers use water wisely. 98% of our new homes meet a very high standard of water efficiency (105 litres per person per day) by incorporating A-rated appliances and other water-saving products such as dual flush toilets, aerated taps and water butts.
You can find out more about the many measures we put in place in our homes and developments to respond to climate change in Our Data.