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The project has been developed with the aim of regenerating areas of both Margate and Cliftonville which have some of the highest levels of deprivation in the region. It involves the purchase and refurbishment of a number of large properties to help facilitate the regeneration of the area by (amongst other projects):

  • the reinstatement of hotels to provide high quality tourist accommodation for the area.
  • the conversion of HMOs and other low grade residential accommodation, retrofitting them to a far higher standard, and then creating a management structure using an intergenerational model of living.

It also includes the remodelling of public open space, specifically Dalby Square, in the heart of the area.

The properties themselves are of consistently exceptional architectural merit, typical of coastal towns developed from the Victorian era and into the Edwardian period. They are typically very large, four to five storey terraced properties, typical of seaside towns.

Further project details

1. Wh at approach did you take in assessing risks and identifying adaptation measures to mitigate the risks?

The project is addressing both built form (the existing Victorian and Edwardian buildings) and the external public realm. In order to assess the buildings, we carried out a number of baseline thermal modelling exercises against predicted weather data for 2080 under the high and medium emission scenarios, at 50 and 90 per cent confidence intervals. For each of those scenarios, we assessed:

  • a five storey HMO to be renovated to a single property for intergenerational living
  • a five storey HMO to be renovated to create a high quality boutique hotel
  • a four storey house currently occupied
  • the same four storey house facing the opposite direction (on the opposite side of the square).

It was decided early on to use 2080 data – the modelled properties are already around 120 to 150 years old and it is expected that they will remain there into the distant future. They also lie within a recently constituted conservation area.

By applying the thermal modelling tests, using IES VE, and the Exeter University Prometheus data, we have been able to identify potential areas of risk in the designs for both the renovations as well as the existing four storey property.

We have also carried out a demographic study and agreed assumptions to take forward as part of the study. This has been coupled with work carried out by TDC in relation to the cultural heritage and history of the area, to understand how the area has developed to date and what the likely changes in the future may be.

The landscape/public realm assessment has not been carried out using software, but by trying to develop an understanding of the impacts of climate change at different scales (micro, meso and macro), and then applying that understanding to this specific location. This work has been carried out by Luke Engleback and his team.

Identifying measures has been a team effort. At this stage in the process there was nothing that was ‘out of bounds’, and we created a scoring matrix that we used as a professional team to prioritise key measures and refine the list into something practical and manageable. Each potential measure was assessed against a number of criteria, at a high level, for example, ease of installation, availability, efficacy at adaptation, financial savings, benefits to local economy etc. From that we were then able to develop the options appraisal.

2. How have you communicated the risks and recommendations with your client? What methods worked well?

Thanet District Council is the client and contracting party with the TSB. The project is co-ordinated by others, however, so in order to ensure delivery and progress, and to make sure that the work, data and results are communicated effectively, we have regular team meetings to discuss everything in detail.

We are keen to ensure that this work and the results of the study are integrated seamlessly with the wider regeneration activity planned for the area, so it is essential that the two workstreams carry on hand in hand.

3. What tools have you used to assess overheating and flood risks?

The software used for the thermal analysis is IES VE: this has been and is continuing to be used to assessed building fabric and other design options.

The external public realm work has been based on the Ecourbanist approach to design, part of which incorporates the need to understand multifunctional environmental design. This, in essence, seeks to show the multiple benefits environmental interventions can add to a scheme, and seeking to understand and inform the total environment and how people use it. Part of this is trying to understand how climate change will affect the environment, and how measures used primarily for other things, can help adaptation. Tree planting is a simple example – the primary driver may be aesthetic improvement or ecological enhancement, but they also provide shading in a much warmer climate.
Air flow Cliftonville housing project

4. What has the client agreed to implement as a result of your adaptation work?

  • The report was endorsed by the Thanet District Council Cabinet system.
  • It is an aspiration to use the report to inform the Cliftonville Design Code.

5. What were the major challenges so far in doing this adaptation work?

It is too early in the process to reach conclusions on this point.

6. What advice would you give others undertaking adaptation strategies?

It’s difficult at this early stage to give advice, however a couple of things are clear: make sure you all agree early what your assumptions about climate change will be, not only in terms of predicted weather data, but also in terms of the community for which the strategy is being developed. You need to make informed and realistic assumptions about how the demography will change, how the building use will evolve, and if possible about how society will work.