As global average temperatures rise they are disrupting the stability of our global climate. By its very definition average changes to global systems will herald a myriad of changes to the local environment.

We are an extremely adaptable and dynamic species but we have built our societies around hard infrastructure that is designed to last for decades. Indeed, many of Europe’s cities have been slowly evolving over hundreds of years. Our current system is designed for relative stability and in changing times we have to ask ourselves;

  • what could the future hold in store?
  • what must we do differently?
  • how can we design, build, finance and operate for a future climate?

The 'Future Climate Code' is a response to some of these challenges, based on a riverside mixed use development in Cardiff.

From interpreting the climate models produced by the UK Climate Impacts Programme we created ‘medium’ and ‘extreme’ change scenarios. Based on the UK’s oceanic / maritime climate we discovered that under the medium scenario Cardiff’s climate in 2050 would be similar to Porto or San Sebastian’s today. The extreme scenario suggested Cardiff’s 2080 climate would be more similar to Brisbane’s climate of today, although there were some significant differences.

This approach allowed us to investigate both physical and behavioural responses. The 'Future Climate Code' aims to provide the developers, owners and emerging community of residents with adaptive tools to approach anticipated changes in climate, increasing long term sustainability and asset value.

Since publication, a Development Company has being formed by The Principality Building Society to take forward development at The Mill site. This Principality is named 'Ely bridge Development Company' and has a strategy of providing a balanced mix of rental/owned properties and ensuring a long term financially sustainable model.

For more information on this project or details on the 'Future Climate Code' please contact Ben Ross.

The 'Future Climate Code' is a collaborative project run by White Design Associates along with Forum for the Future, Faithful & Gould and Savills to future proof development against anticipated changes in climate.

Funding for the project was provided by the Technology Strategy Board as part of their ʻDesign for Future Climate’ research. Twenty-six projects were funded across the UK with the intention that the research outcomes become integrated into the procurement process and inform development risk analysis and decision making.


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