Last edited 23 Nov 2020

Main author

Michael Brooks

Bill Gething and Katie Puckett - Design for Climate Change


Bill Gething & Katie Puckett – ‘Design for Climate Change

Published by RIBA Publishing (2013)

As climate continues to change at an unprecedented rate, and the built environment and construction contribute significantly to carbon emissions and energy use, adaptation will be critically important to ensure continued performance and thermal comfort for occupants.

Design for Climate Change’, written by leading climate change architect Bill Gething and journalist Katie Puckett, provides a useful and informative framework for addressing the challenges, both technical and professional, of adapting to the changing climate.

Aimed at students, architects and other building designers, with the intention of demystifying a complex field, the book was funded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). It draws on lessons from 26 real-world projects that sought to investigate different approaches to sustainable adaptation.

The book addresses: how the current building stock will perform in hotter summers and with more extreme weather conditions; how designs can be future-proofed; how challenges and potential solutions can be communicated by developers to clients; and what adaptation might mean for project costs.

The book examines thermal comfort and defines overheating, as well as steps taken to control both internal and external heat gains. It considers the various cooling strategies that can be adopted, from ventilation to the use of planting and landscape, and green walls.

There is also a useful chapter on designing for construction, with a particularly good double-page spread on different types of façade systems and their respective temperature effects depending on weather conditions.

Throughout, the book is written in an accessible style with many well-presented graphs, images and illustrations. Many of these are used to explain a variety of design and modelling tools, which are helpfully reviewed in terms of their application on the case studies cited. In the future, the book may benefit from an update to address the potential that BIM could have for modelling sustainable design solutions.

Design for Climate Change is an accessible and important book, and one that should be a common source of reference for those seeking to join and currently working in the industry.

You can purchase the book from RIBA Bookshops.

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--Michael Brooks


After the Design for Future Climate projects completed their work, Bill working with Dr Ian Cooper and Matt Thompson went on to write a follow on report examining the business case for climate change adaptation in buildings. This report was based on a series of workshops with the project participants and key stakeholders. The report can be found at -

The detailed project reports can be found on the Innovate UK _Connect platform - . Get them while you can as these repositories will be closed in the near future as the platform is wound up.

Any questions or feedback on this work? [email protected]

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