Green Building and Climate Resilience Report Released

University of Michigan Green Building and Climate Resilience Report
Larissa Larsen reports on climate resilience at U.S. Green Building Council National Press Club event. [Photo by the USGBC; courtesy of the University of Michigan]

Faculty and students at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning released a report last week at the National Press Club, “Green Building and Climate Resilience: Understanding the impacts of preparing for changing conditions.”

The report, co-sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, reviews the most recent research on the likely impacts of climate change at various scales: regional, neighborhood, and site or building. Climate change requires the updating of the building professions’ codes, standards, and practices with the best available knowledge. Planning to adapt to the effects of climate change in the built environment involves first understanding how the regional climate is likely to change.

The findings present a range of predicted future characteristics in the categories of temperature, precipitation, coastlines, air quality, pests and fires. The report lists probable impacts so that design teams can set modified performance goals, diving deeper into project-specific changes at the building or neighborhood level, and recommends strategies to increase the resilience and adaptive capacity of each project.

This report identifies synergies between green building and resiliency and advances firsts in the field, including:

  • Examining the implications of climate change for green building and identifying opportunities for resilience through the design, construction and operation of buildings and communities
  • Analyzing how individual LEED credits support regional adaptation needs, such as enhanced water conservation in arid climates and water-sensitive regions
  • Demonstrating how consideration of climate resilience in buildings can increase the likelihood of achieving performance goals throughout the lifetime of a project

The research effort was led by Larissa Larsen, Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan, with graduate students and recent graduates Nicholas Rajkovich, Kevin Bush, Koben Calhoun, Jared Enriquez, Clair Leighton, Evan Mallen and Kevin McCoy; it was reviewed by Chris Pyke and Sean McMahon of the U.S. Green Building Council and Alison G. Kwok, Architecture Professor at the University of Oregon.

Download Report (PDF 3.1 MB)

For more information, see Taubman College News.

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