Vancouver Coastal Health Portfolio-level Climate Hazard Exposure Screen for Lower Mainland Health Facilities

Vancouver Coastal Health Portfolio-level Climate Hazard Exposure Screen for Lower Mainland Health Facilities

British Columbia
Exterior image of a modern hospital complex

We provided sustainability policy advisory services for this healthcare project in British Columbia, Canada.

The effects of climate change – including but not limited to warming temperatures and extreme heat, reduced air quality due to wildfire smoke, and more frequent and severe flood events – are increasing strains and disruptions for healthcare facilities across BC and resulting in cascading impacts on patients, staff, and communities. 

The new BC Climate Resilience Framework & Standards for Public Sector Buildings requires organizations to assess climate risks and use future climate data to support the planning and design of new buildings, as well as replacements, additions, and major alterations to existing facilities. 

The first step in this process is to complete a climate hazard exposure screen, which informs the subsequent development of resilient design strategies and other adaptation planning efforts. In recent years, this climate hazard information has been completed on a project-by-project basis, leading to the use of different datasets across facilities. 

As part of its ongoing initiative to build more climate resilience health facilities across the region, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) contracted our team to carry out a Climate Hazard Exposure Screen for 96 health facilities across the Lower Mainland. This consolidated tool ensures that the best available climate data is consistently available across all VCH facilities and can be quickly deployed to inform operational and capital decisions. 

The project also involved leading a region-wide vulnerability assessment to identify key vulnerable sites for further investigation and developed a template for site-level vulnerability assessment to carry out a more detailed review. This project has enabled VCH to understand which facilities are most vulnerable to climate impacts and has provided a toolkit of resources for assessing climate impacts at a regional and site scale. 

Photo: Shutterstock

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