Scorched: Extreme Heat and Real Estate

Organizational Author Urban Land Institute
Resource Author Katharine Burgess, Elizabeth Foster
Date Published 11/9/2022
Resource Type Publication
Tags Extreme Heat

Resource Summary

Extreme heat is an increasingly severe climate change impact across the United States – to the environment and natural resources, public health, infrastructure and ultimately, the economy. Scorched provides an overview of extreme heat’s implications on the built environment and current and future real estate markets. Heat mitigation and adaptation strategies are discussed related to building design, building materials, green infrastructure and public space design. Case studies highlight the how the real estate sector is leading in implementing ‘heat-resilient’ building designs and land uses. The report also offers new climate adaptive policies to mitigate the infrastructure impacts of extreme heat, and to protect human health.

The report describes how extreme heat may influence urban environments and the urban heat index, infrastructure, investments and local real estate markets. Developments that are not prepared for extreme heat will be affected by: consumer preference for comfort; building longevity, maintenance and operations; higher energy use and cost for cooling buildings; business continuity/interrupted operations from events such as electrical grid failures, transportation interruptions, wildfires, and water shortages; liability for system failures, suffering tenants, building degradation etc.; and future regulatory measures to require building or site retrofits.

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