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Extreme weather has been a hot topic in the news this year. Fires and excessive rainfall have affected the globe this summer; the UK is no exception. With the Met Office forecasting unsettled weather for the rest of this month, we look at steps construction firms can take to reduce and future-proof against the costs of weather-related risks.

The Met Office’s State of the UK Climate report states that the UK’s climate continues to change. Recent decades have been warmer, wetter, and sunnier. The country is experiencing an increasing intensity of rainfall, and the top 10 warmest years for the UK since 1884 have occurred since 2002. In contrast, none of the coldest years have been recorded this century.

Weathering the storm  

Unpredictable weather poses several risks to construction projects, timelines, and budgets. Research has found that extreme UK weather extends project timelines up to 21% and causes an average of £1,400m of damage.

Construction insurance is an essential first step in protecting your project. Climate change is an important risk management consideration for insurers. Building this into a robust risk management strategy will help construction firms secure the cover they need.

Climate-proofing: building towards net zero targets  

As we move closer to net zero targets, demand for greener, climate-proof construction is growing. The impacts of climate change on long-life construction projects such as railways and infrastructure will intensify in the future. Considerations such as building in areas exposed to potential sea level rises, flooding and heat increases must be factored in.

The European Commission has new technical guidance on climate-proofing of infrastructure projects for 2021-2027 that aligns with 2030 greenhouse gas emission targets and climate neutrality by 2050. Climate-proofing is a process that integrates climate change mitigation and adaptation measures into the development of infrastructure projects. This guidance sets out common principles and practices for managing climate risks in construction.

Planning and preparing for adverse weather is vital to help contractors deliver their construction projects efficiently and on time.  

This note is not intended to give legal or financial advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon for such or regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. In preparing this note, we have relied on information sourced from third parties, and we make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein. You should not act upon information in this bulletin nor determine not to act without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. We and our officers, employees or agents shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever arising from the recipient’s reliance upon any information we provide herein and exclude liability for the content to the fullest extent permitted by law.