Building Research NZ (BRANZ) have just released a study on adapting NZ’s houses and offices for the impacts of climate change. Available at:

“an increased frequency and intensity of overheating, flooding and tropical cyclone events”
“reliance on historical data to predict the return of major weather events should now be discarded and replaced by adaptive action plans that target future-proofing of our building assets.”
“Properties in flood-prone … regions may also be subject to complete obliteration from a combination of storms and tidal surges enhanced by rising sea-levels.”

I chat to one of the authors on the train occasionally. He’s not given to hyperbole. He’s using words like obliteration.

Economic analysis of whether its worth caring now:
Is adapting houses now cost-effective when there won’t be a problem for 30 years? At 7% interest rates, its worth spending 13% of the cost of the house on avoiding total collapse in 30 years time. According to report, cost of adapting average new New Zealand house is 5%.

So yes, even if you’re not personally concerned about your home being destroyed, its worth spending up to 13% more on the house now to protect your investment then.

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