IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Risk and economic viability of housing climate adaptation strategies for wind hazards in southeast Australia


  • Mark Stewart



A changing climate and higher wind speeds means that residential construction is likely to receive more damage in the future if design standards are maintained at the current level. The vulnerability of residential construction may be reduced by an adaptation strategy that increases design wind speeds specified by Australian standards. The paper applies break-even analysis to compare the risks, costs and benefits of climate adaptation strategies for new housing in the three largest cities in Australia: Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. These cities are located in southeast Australia where wind hazard is dominated by synoptic winds (thunderstorms and east-coast lows). Break-even estimates of risk reduction and adaptation cost for designing new housing to enhanced standards were calculated for three synoptic wind pattern scenarios to 2070: (1) no change, (2) B1 and (3) A1FI emission scenarios. If the actual cost of adaptation exceeds the predicted break-even value, then adaptation is not cost-effective. It was found that this adaptation strategy can lead to risk reductions of 50–80 % at a cost of approximately 1 % of house replacement value. If risk reduction is over 50 %, discount rate is 4 %, and there is no change of climate, the break-even analysis shows that adaptation is cost-effective for Sydney if the adaptation cost is less than 5–9 % of house replacement cost. Designing new housing to enhance wind classifications is also likely to be a cost-effective adaptation strategy for Brisbane and Melbourne. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Stewart, 2015. "Risk and economic viability of housing climate adaptation strategies for wind hazards in southeast Australia," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 601-622, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:masfgc:v:20:y:2015:i:4:p:601-622
    DOI: 10.1007/s11027-013-9510-y

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Partha Dasgupta, 2008. "Discounting climate change," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 141-169, December.
    2. Jochen Hinkel & Robert Nicholls & Athanasios Vafeidis & Richard Tol & Thaleia Avagianou, 2010. "Assessing risk of and adaptation to sea-level rise in the European Union: an application of DIVA," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 15(7), pages 703-719, October.
    3. William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 686-702, September.
    4. Chi-Hsiang Wang & Xiaoming Wang & Yong Khoo, 2013. "Extreme wind gust hazard in Australia and its sensitivity to climate change," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 67(2), pages 549-567, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:masfgc:v:20:y:2015:i:4:p:601-622. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.