part of the North West Climate Change Action Plan

<< Back To Search

Adaptation and Resilience in a Changing Climate (ARCC - a coordinated network)

Date: 2009 - Present

Evidence type: Research

Organisations: UK Climate Impacts Programme, Economic & Social Research Council, Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, Living with Environmental Change

URL IconView original document here


ARCC brings together research projects involving existing buildings and infrastructure systems, including transport and water resource systems in the urban environment.

Key Messages

Adaptation and Resilience in Cities: Analysis and Decision making using Integrated Assessment (ARCADIA).

Aims to provide system-scale understanding of the inter-relationships between climate impacts, the urban economy, land use, transport and the built environment and to use this understanding to design cities that are more resilient and adaptable.

Climate change role/function
Non-specific adaptation role/function

ARCC-Water: Water System Resilience.

An integrated 'whole system' approach to water resource planning in South East England under multiple uncertainties, in which portfolios of infrastructure and demand management options maintain secure supplies (increased reliability and reduced vulnerability to failure) and enhance the environment.  

Objectives: Develop new methods and tools to (i) assess the risk of climate change impacts on water infrastructure systems and improve the performance of the water supply/demand system under future extreme events that will drive system failure (floods, droughts, heat waves) and (ii) design robust water-supply infrastructure systems at regional and local scales by identifying packages of measures that guarantee reliable water supplies at competitive costs, meet carbon commitments and are socially and environmentally acceptable.

Climate change role/function
Managing water supply; Managing riverine flooding; Managing surface water

Built Infrastructure for Older People in Conditions of Climate Change (BIOPICCC).

Aims to develop a methodology for selecting locally sensitive, efficient adaptation strategies during the period up to 2050 to ensure that the infrastructures and health and social care systems supporting well-being of older people (i.e., those aged 65 and over) will be sufficiently resilient to withstand harmful impacts of climate change.  


The functioning of health and social care systems and infrastructures supporting them is likely to be influenced by climate change, especially by increasing frequency and severity of weather-related hazards such as floods, heat waves and storms. Recent experience of extreme climatic events had significant repercussions for the health of older people, who comprise a growing proportion of the total population in the UK. Thus we face a major challenge concerning how to adapt infrastructures, essential for health and social systems serving older people, to impacts of a changing climate.

Climate change role/function
Managing high temperatures; Managing riverine flooding; Managing coastal flooding; Managing surface water

Coincident Probabilistic climate change weather data for a Sustainable built Environment (COPSE).

The project aims to develop a methodology for deriving weather data for building designers etc. that is based on future data rather than observational records from the last 20 years or so.  


The project will develop sound methods for deriving future climate change data for building designers to use for new buildings and refurbishments. Current building design is based on outdated and inappropriate data sets (observed records only up to 1995, and often in semi-rural locations), buildings are in urban areas, so need something more closely matched to that.

Climate change role/function
Non-specific adaptation role/function

Community Resilience to Extreme Weather (CREW).

Aims to develop a set of tools for improving the capacity for resilience of local communities to the impacts of extreme weather events.  


Community Resilience to Extreme Weather (CREW) will focus on understanding the probability of future extreme weather events and their likely socio-economic impacts. It will investigate the vulnerability and determinants of adaptive capacity in communities associated with coping with extreme weather events.

Climate change role/function
Non-specific adaptation role/function

Design and delivery of robust hospital environments in a changing climate.

The project aims to investigate the design and delivery of economical and practical strategies for the adaptation of the NHS Retained Estate to increase its resilience to climate change whilst meeting the challenging carbon reduction goals and performance requirements of the NHS.  


The Dept. of Health is particularly exercised by climate change. NHS patients’ wellbeing may well be compromised by warming summers. In fact the DoH and the NHS are hit by a double whammy, the pressure to dramatically reduce energy consumption in the recently launched NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy colliding with the imperative to protect patients and staff from summer overheating.

Green infrastructure type
Institutional grounds
Climate change role/function
Non-specific mitigation role/function; Non-specific adaptation role/function; Managing high temperatures

The use of probabilistic climate scenarios in decision making for adaptation of building and property drainage (Design Of Water Networks using ProbabilistIc PrEdiction- DOWNPIPE).

The project aims to realise potential benefits to property drainage design and adaption by using probabilistic data from UKCP09. The location and extent of any under-capacity will be identified and adaptation solutions proposed, thus impacting positively on the mitigation of flood risk.  


It is clear that incapacity problems are becoming more common as both small-scale building and larger-scale urban drainage networks fail to cope with the increasingly frequent occurrence of high intensity short-duration rainfall events. This failing demands the need for a review of how water and drainage is both designed and managed. Current practice tends to design systems to cope with rainfall intensity that is based on a defined return period. In addition, the associated use of steady-state principles is problematic for three reasons: 1) little account is taken of the temporal nature of rainfall events, particularly for periods of predicted intense rainfall, 2) drainage system components are often considered in isolation with the aim of removing rainwater as quickly as possible, resulting in many cases in the coincidence of flows at key conveyance points, and 3) this approach ignores the time-dependent nature of system flows.  


These problems can be overcome however, through the appropriate use of probabilistic rainfall data within network simulation models.

Climate change role/function
Managing riverine flooding; Managing surface water

Future Resilient Transport Networks (FUTURENET).

Aims to determine:  

What will be the nature of the UK transport system in 2050 (taken as the mid-point of the UKCIP scenarios), both in terms of its physical characteristics and its usage?  


What will be the shape of the transport network in 2050 that will be most resilient to climate change?

Climate change role/function
Non-specific adaptation role/function; Reducing need to travel by car

Decision support for building adaptation in a low-carbon climate change future (Low Carbon Future).

The project aims to produce a general, deterministic and computationally efficient methodology for adequately sizing HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning) plant and equipment in buildings.  


Given the changing climate, buildings may not perform as designed either because the buildings cannot adapt to the changed climate or because the design was over-specified to meet a particular climate scenario that doesn't materialise. Designers cannot just build in more air conditioning as there is an overall requirement to reduce carbon emissions. These factors will likely dictate a change in the way buildings are designed and in the design criteria that have to be met, e.g. the range of particular climate futures. This project aims to develop a method of linking the UKCP09 probabilistic climate scenarios to the requirements of the building services engineering community (as the definition of peak load will no longer be one number but a probabilistic range).

Climate change role/function
Non-specific mitigation role/function; Managing high temperatures

The Development of a Local Urban Climate Model and its Application to the Intelligent Development of Cities (LUCID).

The local character of the built environment can generate a localised microclimate which leads to variation in the strength of the urban heat island across a city. For example, green space and bodies of water interspersed into the urban landscape can substantially reduce undesirable impacts of buildings on the microclimate. In this and other ways, intelligent master planning of large-scale development can alleviate overheating in urban areas. However, at present there are no truly suitable tools available to architects, planners, and designers to analyse the impact of urban development on the microclimate across the required range of scales. This multi-disciplinary project aims to develop world leading methods for calculating local temperature and air quality in the urban environment. The impact on energy use and the consequences for health will then be explored and the implications for urban planning will be considered in detail. Such methods applied to urban areas will contribute greatly to the generation of guidance in the planning process. This is a three-year endeavour with work having begun in June 2007.

Green infrastructure type
Non-specific green infrastructure; Water courses; Water bodies
Climate change role/function
Non-specific mitigation role/function; Managing high temperatures

The use of probabilistic climate data to future proof design decisions in the buildings sector (PROMETHEUS).

The project aims to develop a new set of probabilistic reference years that can be understood and used by building designers.  


It is well known that the current basis on which building design is founded is flawed, in that the design reference year and design summer year are based on data that represents historical data up to 1995. Consequently, these reference years don't embody current climate let alone future climate to which buildings are exposed, and so there is a risk of serious discomfort being felt in buildings in future, and possible litigation. Clear need to use the probabilistic data therefore, to develop new reference years, however, this will require a clear understanding of how designers can use such data and a consistent way of examining any changes in costs. Therefore need to simultaneously study the probabilistic data sets for the built environment and also how such information can be used in adaptation decisions.

Climate change role/function
Managing high temperatures

The use of probabilistic climate scenarios in building environmental performance simulation (PROCLIMATION).

The project aims to develop and implement methodologies for using probabilistic climate projections (UKCP09) in building simulation and other related analytical procedures.  


Dynamic simulation models are used in the design and analysis of energy (consumption and thus demand) and thermal comfort in buildings (energy performance of buildings), e.g. to determine the heating and cooling requirements, and optimise the provision of daylight. Traditionally this has been done with deterministic inputs (observed climate) and outputs, but with the advent of UKCP09 there is the potential to address these issues differently. This project will seek to develop and implement new methods that can be used to harness the power of the probabilistic data available in UKCP09, so that a more flexible framework for decision making can be established (i.e. using climate scenarios), thus enabling the development of adaptation strategies where uncertainty must be accounted for (i.e. risk based decision making).

Climate change role/function
Non-specific mitigation role/function; Managing high temperatures

Sustainable Cities: Options for Responding to Climate Change Impacts and Outcomes (SCORCHIO).

The project aims to develop tools that use UKCP09 to help planners, designers, engineers and users to adapt urban areas (demonstrated through work in Manchester and Sheffield), with particular emphasis on heat and human comfort. This research will develop tools for assessing climate change impacts and adaptation measures in urban areas; modelling typical buildings for the purpose of developing a heat and human comfort vulnerability index; estimating heat from buildings to understand adaptation options; and to develop computer map-based methods for examining adaptation options in planning and design. This is a three-year project with work having begun in April 2007.

Climate change role/function
Managing high temperatures

Suburban neighbourhood adaptation for a changing climate: identifying effective, practical and acceptable means of suburban re-design (SNACC).

The proposed research answers the question: how can existing suburban neighbourhoods be best adapted to reduce further impacts of climate change and withstand ongoing changes?  


The approach of SNACC is socio-technical: in that it will determine which neighbourhood adaptation strategies perform best in terms of technical performance and also in terms of practicality and acceptability for the stakeholders (change agents) implementing them.

Climate change role/function
Non-specific adaptation role/function
Document Analysis


Level of document
Geographical area to which document refers
United Kingdom
Is 'green infrastructure' mentioned?
Relevant to climate change...
Mitigation; Adaptation
Is it relevant to other (non-climate change) benefits of green infrastructure?
Back To Top