Resilient Retrofits: Adapting to Climate Change

What makes homes and buildings climate resilient? 

Climate change is contributing to the frequency and severity of extreme weather events across Canada. How can we prepare our homes and buildings to be climate resilient? This is a question facing communities across the globe.  

We need to better understand how to adapt our built environment to withstand natural hazard events.

Once we know what makes buildings climate resilient, we can invest in retrofits as well as grey and natural infrastructure to reduce disaster risks and impacts on people. And, over the longer term, climate-resilient retrofits will save property owners money and result in co-benefits such as improved health and reduced carbon pollution.



About the study

Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) in Nova Scotia engaged Partners for Action at the University of Waterloo to do research on resilient retrofits for HRM specific natural hazards. 

We are exploring what building features can withstand floods (overland, coastal), extreme precipitation, extreme winds, extreme heat, wildfires, drought, and snow and ice. 

Our research team will provide a framework for thinking about the following: 

p4a and hrm
  • Resilient retrofits: Elements of municipal, commercial and residential buildings that can withstand anticipated natural hazard events. 

  • Initiatives that enable and encourage the adoption of resilient retrofits, such as programs, policies, financial incentives, stakeholder engagement, and education.


Learn more 

If you have any questions about this study or are interested in collaborating on a project, please contact: 

Sharmalene Mendis-Millard 
Senior Manager, Research Partnerships and Evaluation 



Sharmalene Mendis-Millard

Senior Manager, Research Partnerships and Evaluation

Sharmalene Mendis-Millard (she/her) is a mixed-methods geographer whose research focused on adaptive capacity in Canadian UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and who worked at Reep Green Solutions to engage people on stormwater management. Sharmalene has worked for several interdisciplinary research centres that aim to advance community well-being and social justice through community partnerships, program evaluations, and learning opportunities, and now focuses on equity in climate risk reduction and adaptation.
Office: evolv1
Sharmalene's profile and LinkedIn

Rachel Krueger

Former Research and Communications Assistant

Rachel Krueger holds a University of Waterloo Master of Environmental Studies in Sustainability Management (Water, 2022) whose research focused on flood risk communications and who worked on P4A’s Inclusive Resilience project funded by Public Safety Canada via the Canadian Red Cross. Rachel has reviewed recent disaster studies literature and was a City of Mississauga stormwater drainage intern.
Rachel's profile and LinkedIn

Tyler Hull

Research Assistant

Tyler is a Ph.D. Candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering and part of the Structural Timber and Applied Research Team led by Dr. Daniel Lacroix. He led two winning structural design competition submissions, including the top prize in the student category of “Build the (Im)possible,” an international competition to increase the visibility of mass timber innovation. His research focuses on the advancement of the wood construction as a sustainable alternative to concrete and steel. 
Tyler's profile and LinkedIn

Cameron McGlade-Bouchard

Research Assistant

Cameron recently completed her Master of Environmental Studies in Sustainability Management where her thesis explores the effectiveness of sustainability standards as governance mechanisms. Her background includes environmental governance, corporate sustainability, and implementing sustainability standards. Cameron supports Partners for Action by conducting literature reviews, organizing information, and producing communication pieces.
Cameron's profile and LinkedIn