Balancing Adaptation and Mitigation in the Building Sector of New York State

Living reference work entry


Climate change poses a significant threat to commercial and residential buildings. New buildings must be designed, and existing buildings retrofitted, to be resilient to extreme weather and sea level rise. At the same time, designers and building owners need to address energy consumption because the building stock uses nearly 40% of all energy in the United States. Building professionals will shape how the building stock responds to climate change. However, despite their critical role, few studies have examined how these professionals balance increasing the resilience of the built environment with greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts. To address this gap, data from 42 semi-structured interviews and an online survey were analyzed. The research focused on the response of New York State building professionals. Results indicate that building professionals are aware of potential climate impacts. However, their understanding of climate impacts are framed by where they live. In addition, while climate change is a concern, these building professionals tend to focus on energy efficiency rather than climate-related resilience. This is potentially due to a lack of information, outdated building codes, a lack of resources, and limited support from their clients.


Adaptation Energy efficiency Building sector Climate change Mitigation 



This research was supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Architecture and PlanningState University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Department of City Planning and DesignJordan University of Science and TechnologyIrbidJordan

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