Five New Year resolutions for resilient built assets


2019’s news agenda seemed full of the effects of climate change and resource scarcity, and the situation fuelled global political debate, business decision-making and social activism more than ever before. The consequences for real estate are still being apprehended and dissected, although its immediate impacts are clear to see.

Just as most of us come out of the other side of the Christmas break ready to make some resolutions for a happy and healthy new year, our approach to sustainable buildings could do with the same treatment.

23 of the UK’s leading property owners (responsible for a combined £300bn of assets under management), have agreed to deliver net-zero-carbon portfolios by 2050. Their pathways for action will be published this year. Ahead of those announcements, TFT hosted 70 of our clients, colleagues and industry friends to discuss one of the most pressing issues facing the built environment.

We teased out five important points from our Christmas CPD session for property surveyors, investors and asset managers to consider as we look ahead to another year of developing more resilient, sustainable and viable buildings.

1. Enhance biodiversity to mitigate climate impacts:

Investigate the application of green infrastructure to help mitigate climate change effects in urban areas. Used well, green and blue infrastructure can promote cooling, drainage and mental well-being.” Helen Newman, Technical Partner

2. Redefine building performance:

“Expand the definition of building performance to include user experience, well-being and sustainability objectives together, to create a more realistic commercial objective.” Austen Bates, Associate

3. Review building services for climate resilience

“Future-proof mechanical and electrical (M&E) systems must be assessed against operational conditions and future climate risks to ensure resilience in a changing world.” Marc Hill, Partner

4. Measure and improve well-being and comfort

Assets which deliver the greatest well-being and customer experience of occupants will be commercially resilient – at a time of instant social feedback and flexible tenancies, it’s never been easier for occupants to be the voice of reason!” Giulia Mori, Senior Energy & Sustainability Consultant

5. Embrace a circular approach to materials and carbon

“Interrogate your supply chain to introduce circular materials and methods. It’s complex but crucial work to change the consumption model of building resources.” Natalia Ford, Senior Sustainability Consultant

Despite the uncertainty of the path ahead, if these five approaches get a front row seat at the decision-making table, we can only look forward to what’s around the corner.

To hear more about the topics covered from our CPD session or to hear about TFT events for 2020, get in touch with Jacky Bell at