Bruntwood, in partnership with the University of Manchester, has announced that its Eco Cities Initiative for Sustainable Cities, will use office buildings as 'living laboratories' to test climate change adaptation methods.
Climate modelling undertaken by the Forestry Commission suggests that by 2080, the temperature in Manchester will mirror that of the current climate in Naples. This will mean that during the height of summer, the temperature in a typical office building will reach up to 28°C.
Michael Oglesby, Chairman of Bruntwood said: "Although the battle to gain acceptance of global warming is now almost won, the task of gaining a clear understanding of what practically and realistically can be done to adapt to its impacts is to a large extent still the topic of much debate and uncertainty."
Climate modelling predicts changes to the rainfall in the UK, which will become heavy and more infrequent compared with the fine and persistent rainfall the UK is used to. Such changes in the climate will have a significant impact on the way people live and work.
The Eco Cities project will explore methods of adapting existing office space to the effects of climate change to ensure comfortable working conditions can be maintained, without relying on energy hungry technology.
Working with a global network of individuals and organisations, the project will provide Greater Manchester with a blueprint for a climate change adaptation strategy that will become a resource for planners and other relevant stakeholders with a responsibility for action in this field.
In addition to the adaptation of commercial property, it will also equip Greater Manchester with knowledge and understanding on how its public spaces and homes need to adapt.
Michael commented, "Reducing our output of CO2 is a task requiring government action but of equal importance is a clear understanding at city and individual level as to the vital role that they have to play in adapting our urban areas to a changing climate.
"Eco Cities aims to make a major contribution to the adaptation debate and to give clear and scientifically verified guidance to local government, companies and individuals.
"There has been much talk, and some legislation, directed towards new infrastructure and buildings but little has been aimed at the adaptation of existing stock which, for some considerable years to come, will far exceed the new.
"It is in this area that Eco Cities will direct much of its energy and seek to provide practical and realistic solutions."
Bruntwood is a privately owned commercial property company with over 30 years experience of providing great serviced offices. Bruntwood owns over 90 office buildings in Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham. They provide office space, serviced offices, virtual offices, from one desk for one month, to entire office buildings for 25 years. Bruntwood also offers retail space and meeting rooms to hire within its buildings. The essential elements of the Bruntwood promise are to provide a wide choice of offices, commercial flexibility, world class customer service and long-term value for money.
Each year Bruntwood donates over 10% of its annual profits to arts, civic and charitable causes and takes every opportunity to involve its customers.
About Eco Cities:
The project seeks to provide Greater Manchester, by the end of 2011, with a climate change adaptation blueprint. This will be based on leading scientific research, extensive stakeholder engagement and best practice examples of new programmes successfully piloted during the project.
Eco Cities is funded through charitable donations from Bruntwood and The Oglesby Charitable Trust.
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