BREEAM Wst 05: Adaptation to climate change

The effects of climate change are expected to bring about more extreme and unpredictable weather with some places being hotter, some places being wetter, and some places being drier.  It is therefore important to mitigate the impact of these events on the built environment by ensuring buildings are resilient to hazards posed by extreme weather, whilst, at the same time, avoiding over specification and unnecessary resource depletion.

The BREEAM Wst 05 ‘Adaptation to climate change’ category awards schemes that demonstrate solutions are incorporated into the scheme to reduce the probable impact climate change might have on the asset’s performance, material durability, health and safety, and business activities.

The Wst 05 appraisal provides at least one BREEAM credit, with the potential to unlock additional exemplary credits (assuming the attainment of other BREEAM categories; Hea 04, Ene 01, Ene 04, Wat 01, Mat 05, and Pol 03).

Note: We also offer our service on the Mat 05 ‘Designing for Durability’ credit, more information here.

It is important that new buildings are designed and constructed to minimise future climate change risks while avoiding over specification and resource use. Newly constructed assets have the benefit of being able to design and specify building elements to reduce the impact of climate change.

The BREEAM New Construction 2014 & 2018 standards offer one credit to schemes that conduct a compliant Climate Change risk assessment to assess their design and external vulnerabilities, and suggest and incorporate suitable mitigation measures.

Existing buildings, although limited by their design, can also improve their resilience to climate change and take advantage of the BREEAM ‘Adaptation to climate change’ category credits.

The BREEAM Non-Domestic Refurbishment 2014 standard offers one credit to schemes that conduct a compliant Climate Change risk assessment to assess their design and external vulnerabilities, and suggest and incorporate suitable mitigation measures.

Meeting the Requirements

To be awarded the Wst 05 credit requires that a suitably qualified expert prepare a report on climate change and extreme weather risks and impacts on the scheme.

Systematic Risk Assessment

A systematic (structural and fabric resilience specific) risk assessment to identify and evaluate the impact of expected extreme weather conditions and climate change on the scheme over its projected life cycle.

The assessment will include the installation of building services, renewable systems, and structural and fabric resilience aspects, over the following steps:

(i) Hazard identification and assessment –  Evidence and data is gathered from credible sources to understand the potential extreme weather events that may affect the scheme. The probability of these hazards is determined, including their frequency and severity.

(ii) Risk estimation and evaluation – The possible risks (i.e. severity) posed by the hazards are identified. The specific implications of the risk will be determined. Risk thresholds and unacceptable risk factors are established and pursued.

(iii) Risk management – Risk Management involves the reduction of the identified risks (to the maximum extent possible) using effective countermeasures.

Implementation of Recommendations

Achieving the Wst 05 credit requires the scheme to demonstrate how the recommendations have been implemented. We complete this requirement during Technical Design (RIBA Stage 4 or equivalent), reporting practical and cost-efficient measures that have been included in the design.

ADW Developments has substantial expertise, the recognised qualifications, and the necessary experience in undertaking Adaptation to climate change studies to meet the BREEAM requirements.


Our service for the BREEAM Wst 05 Adaptation to climate change is inexpensive, worthy and a great credit to target for your project.

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