Engaging Architects and Engineers in Climate Adaptation

Architecture and Engineering (A&E) professionals are well-positioned to advance climate adaptation innovations and high-value services through the effective use of climate information and data. Sources of this information are becoming more widely available, yet they are often not well-suited for immediate A&E applications. An article by Ariane Laxo, HGA Sustainability Director and project co-lead, outlines some of the barriers A&E professionals encounter when trying to apply climate projections to building design. The University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP), with support from the State Legislature of Minnesota, is generating future climate projection data and associated resources to support the use and application of this essential information. 

In partnership with HGA Architects and Engineers, MCAP has launched a multi-faceted, comprehensive effort to characterize the climate information needs of A&E professionals, challenges they encounter accessing, understanding, and applying this information, and opportunities to advance climate resiliency actions and services provisioned by the A&E sector.

Drawing from an in-depth review of the academic and professional literature related to A&E climate services and data use, distribution of a national online survey of A&E professionals and a series of semi-structured interviews with A&E leaders, this project will:

  1. Characterize what types of weather and/or climate related data, particularly climate projections, are used by A&E professionals.
  2. Identify challenges and opportunities to advance use of these data by A&E professionals to improve climate readiness and resilience (and cost-effectiveness) of A&E projects. 
  3. Identify or develop case studies describing A&E applications of climate projections.
  4. Capture examples of data-driven climate services currently marketed by A&E firms in the U.S. and opportunities for expansion

Our online survey is now available, and we welcome feedback from Architecture and Engineering professionals to learn more about how you and your organization obtain and apply climate information. Results from the survey will be summarized in a report to inform the creation of dedicated professional development opportunities for A&E professionals in the area of climate adaptation services. 

Final project results will become available by Winter 2022, so please check back in to see our progress and lessons learned.  

Graph of Projected Changes in Extreme Heat Days
Graphic by HGA

 

Project Team

Patrick Cipriano

Patrick Cipriano
HGA+MCAP Sustainability Intern

Brenda Hoppe

Brenda Hoppe 
MCAP Climate Resilience Researcher

Alissa Kingsley

Alissa Kingsley 
HGA Sustainability Operations Leader

Ariane Laxo

Ariane Laxo 
HGA Sustainability Director

 

Heidi Roop

Heidi Roop 
MCAP Director 

Johanna Turko

 Johanna Turko 
HGA Sustainability Certifications Specialist

References

Rastogi, P., Laxo, A., Cecil, L. D., & Overbey, D. (2022). Projected climate data for building design: barriers to use. Buildings and Cities, 3(1), 111–117. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/bc.145

Support

HGA Architects and Engineers

Minnesota Department of Commerce