Upgrade buildings against changing climate impacts

This solution addresses buildings in need of upgrading in New York City, USA for local communities

Problem Description

Newly constructed buildings in New York City are designed to meet current codes that promote safety and energy efficiency. But the vast majority of city buildings— our homes, schools, workplaces, businesses, and places of worship—were constructed before most modern standards were in place. There is a significant need to adapt buildings across the five boroughs to withstand and recover from extreme weather events and other hazards, while continuing to serve residents and businesses during normal conditions. The Mayor's Office of Housing Recovery Operations is making significant investment in homes across the city through the Build it Back program, supporting the recovery of single-family homeowners and multi-family building residents. Eligible homeowners may repair, elevate, rebuild, or sell their homes. This program was dramatically improved in 2014 and is continuing to serve Sandy-impacted residents.

Building Blocks

Story

Other buildings across the city are also subject to ongoing climate risks, particularly the flooding associated with storm surge and sea level rise, as well as wind and heat. When the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released its first Flood Insurance Rate Maps for New York City in 1983, it de ned the 100-year floodplain— the area that has a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year—as an expanse that today includes approximately 35,500 buildings. However, Sandy’s extensive flooding encompassed over 88,700 buildings, and according to current FEMA updates to these maps, the new 100-year floodplain is expected to include approximately 71,500 buildings. These expanding floodplains will bring flood construction and insurance requirements into neighborhoods that were not built to such standards.

Resources

Organisations Involved

Solution Stage

One of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
STAGE SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING FINANCE REQUIRED KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED GOAL
Developing and testing3
Mix of design and implementation skills
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Service, product and process design
  • Co-design
  • User-design
  • Light-touch evaluation
  • Cost-benefit modelling
  • Randomised control trials
  • High failure rate should be an explicit expectation
  • Visible senior leadership essential
HIGH
  • Grants, convertible grants/loans
MEDIUM
A stronger case with cost and benefit projections developed through practical trials and experiments, involving potential users
Demonstration that the idea works, or evidence to support a reworking of the idea

Key Details

Activity