Climate change presents significant risk to real estate. More frequent and severe extreme weather events such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires can result in substantial property damage. That affects operating expense, property value and ultimately internal rate of return (IRR) for real estate investors.
It is more critical than ever for investors to factor climate risk into how they manage their portfolios and grow returns. Responding to risk from climate-driven events will help investors avoid unexpected costs, lower returns, and even a loss of investment.
ClimateCheck provides physical climate risk data to inform your decisions. Our team of experts uses data from government, academic, and other public and institutional sources to assess risks from drought, heat, fire, flood, and storms to entire portfolios and individual properties. Our deliverables include assessment of physical climate risk of entire portfolios, individual property reports, risk maps, raw data, API data access, and more.
With ClimateCheck, you can identify and quantify climate risk and take action to protect your portfolio. Here are ClimateCheck’s answers to 11 key questions for climate data providers.
- Who is on ClimateCheck’s team?
- Who are ClimateCheck’s clients?
- What is ClimateCheck’s geographic coverage, and how granular is it?
- How far into the future can ClimateCheck project risk?
- What emissions scenarios does ClimateCheck cover?
- What are ClimateCheck’s data methodologies and where does ClimateCheck get their data?
- What hazards does ClimateCheck cover, and how do they categorize them?
- What are ClimateCheck’s deliverables?
- How responsive is ClimateCheck?
- Is ClimateCheck a large corporation or a nimble startup?
- How does ClimateCheck price their product?
1. Who is on ClimateCheck’s team?
ClimateCheck relies on a well-rounded team of climate science, data, real estate, and technology experts.
- Our chief analysts — Dr. Annie Preston, Dr. Laura McGowan, and Dr. Maximilian Stiefel — earned their PhDs in computer science, atmospheric science, and geography from UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara, respectively.
- Tulane University Professor of Sustainable Real Estate Jesse Keenan, Climate scientist Dr. Daniel Swain, who holds appointments at UCLA and National Center for Atmospheric Research, and other leading academic voices in climate science and adaptation advise our work.
- ClimateCheck co-founders Cal Inman and Sam Eckhouse bring real estate and technology expertise to the team. Inman is a Bay Area developer and lecturer at UC Berkeley, Masters in Real Estate Development + Design. Eckhouse is a technology strategist focused on high performance computing, private, and public cloud.
2. Who are ClimateCheck’s clients?
ClimateCheck works with a variety of enterprise clients including equity investors, environmental consultants, real estate listing portals, and data analytics firms. Here are some of the companies that use our data and analytics services:
- Green Street, a commercial real estate analytics firm that provides actionable commercial real estate research, news, data, analytics, and advisory services.
- KPMG, a professional services firm that offers audit, tax, and advisory services to a variety of industries, including real estate.
- ERIS, an information services company providing environmental data, historical information, and digital analysis tools
- Environmental consulting firms serving lenders, property owners and real estate investment trusts (REITs), such as AEI Consultants.
- REITs and private real estate investors across all asset classes including: Industrial, Multifamily, Healthcare, Office, and Retail
- Black Knight, a data and analytics company that provides solutions for the mortgage and real estate industries.
- Landcor Data Corporation provides property information to real estate professionals and financial services companies.
- Morningstar Inc.,a financial services firm that provides investment research and analysis, including real estate investment trusts (REITs) research and ratings.
- Redfin, an online platform for listing and searching for homes, and provider of real estate data and insights.
- Local Logic, a location insights company that digitizes the built world for consumers, investors, developers and governments
3. What is ClimateCheck’s geographic coverage, and how granular is it?
ClimateCheck’s data covers real estate in the United States and Canada. The granularity of our data varies by hazard. For example, for flooding, we can project risk for areas as small as 10 square meters; for extreme heat, the smallest geographic area for which we can project risk is four square kilometers.
We provide combined risk analysis, meaning analysis of all climate hazards we cover, starting at the parcel-level or individual property level., We aggregate the data to provide larger portfolio analysis. We also provide aggregated area summaries including climate risk analysis by census tract, postal code or ZIP Code, city, county, region and state.
Clients can incorporate our raw data as a derivative product into larger datasets for richer analysis.
4. How far into the future can ClimateCheck project risk?
ClimateCheck can project risk through 2060, with the ability to break down the data within 5-year increments. Our smaller increment projection options provide clients with more detailed analysis and planning over shorter time periods. Real estate investors, environmental consultants and others can use our incremental analysis to make informed decisions about their investments and adjust their strategies accordingly.
5. What emissions scenarios does ClimateCheck cover?
The four Representation Concentration Pathways (RCPs 2.6, 4.5, 6.0, 8.5) are used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as trajectories for the future of greenhouse gas concentrations in our atmosphere. In ClimateCheck analysis for climate conditions through mid-century, we use multiple climate change scenarios including RCP4.5, and RCP8.5, to communicate uncertainty. RCPs, and emissions scenarios in general, help illustrate what different futures could look like. RCP scenarios are not predictions, but provide a useful range of plausible outcomes for climate change based on different levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
6. What are ClimateCheck’s data methodologies and where does ClimateCheck get their data?
For each hazard—heat, precipitation, drought, flooding, and fire—we analyze the modeled frequency and severity of extreme events, historically and through 2050, to create a 1-100 rating relative to our data coverage area. We aggregate and harmonize and synthesize data from internationally accepted climate models and other government sources and agencies with methods informed by current academic research. The specific data and methods of analysis we use depend on the type of risk being assessed.
We rely on data from the IPCC, NOAA, NASA, USGS, and FEMA, as well as academic research and proprietary data from our partners. We leverage models including MACA downscaled global climate models, NOAA SLOSH (Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes) model, and CADDIES WCA2D surface flood model.
7. What hazards does ClimateCheck cover, and how do they categorize them?
ClimateCheck covers five hazards: heat, precipitation, drought, flooding, and fire. Our 1-100 risk scale measures expected increase in hazard intensity for the property or location in question through 2050, relative to other locations in the contiguous U.S. and Canada.
- Heat: We rate heat risk by looking at the expected increase in the number of your area’s hottest days through 2050 under different climate scenarios, and the level of risk of high heat on these days.
- Precipitation: We rate precipitation risk by assessing the projected change in the amount of precipitation falling during the heaviest downpours under different climate scenarios through 2050..
- Fire: We rate fire risk by looking at the location’s probability of burning under different climate scenarios through 2050, the potential severity of a fire, and the projected risk on days with the worst conditions for fire spread through 2050.
- Drought: We rate drought risk using models of water supply stress, which estimates what proportion of the available water in a location is expected to be consumed by human activity. The average baseline water stress for our coverage area from 2011-2020, and the projected change in water stress through 2050 contribute to the drought risk rating.
- Flood: We rate flood risk by modeling the probability and potential depth of four types of floods through 2050, under different climate scenarios: coastal high-tide flooding, storm surge, fluvial (riverine), and pluvial (surface) flooding.
We opt not to quantify the risk of broad weather events but rather measure the effects of individual hazards. The reason for this is that a single disaster event carries multiple hazards, but to different degrees. For example, the risks posed by hurricane events may differ depending on the property or location in question. The property could be at higher risk for wind damage from a hurricane, but lower risk for flood damage; or the property could be at high risk for both, perhaps because of the added risk of river flooding.
8. What are ClimateCheck’s deliverables?
ClimateCheck offers the following deliverables:
- High-level overview of physical climate risk to your whole portfolio
- Individual property reports with a narrative explanation of physical climate risk
- Maps that illustrate risk across your portfolio
- Maps that illustrate risks for your individual properties
- Data for individual properties or regions that includes granular data such as expected flood depth, expected temperature changes, expected wildfire risk. This format allows you to query your properties by each risk data point.
- Data in spreadsheet, CSV, Parquet file, or API to integrate into your analysis workflow
- We can also customize a data delivery solution to match your existing workflows
9. How responsive is ClimateCheck?
ClimateCheck is nimble, fast, and responsive. Our data and reports are available via API instantaneously. We return customer inquiries within one business day or expedite accordingly. For more complex inquiries, we can schedule a meeting to answer questions, go over reports, explain data and help you apply our data to decision making. We can also customize data and feeds, and provide expert help with analysis and models. Our team expands your capabilities, and if your firm doesn’t have a climatologist on staff, we can fill that gap.
10. Is ClimateCheck a large corporation or a nimble startup?
As a nimble company in a dynamic new industry, ClimateCheck focuses on what we do best: the science and data of physical climate risk. We add new product features frequently, often in direct response to customer demand. Our flexibility enables us to offer a wider range of contract structures and cost effective solutions. We also pride ourselves on our transparency. Let us know if you would like to see our product roadmap and learn more about upcoming features now in development.
11. How does ClimateCheck price their product?
We offer competitive pricing and flexible purchase options for our products. Whether you’re looking to integrate API access to our raw data into your software, you want to buy individual reports à la carte, you’re seeking a portfolio-level overview, or some combination of those deliverables with our other options, we can meet your specific needs. Reach out to learn more.
- ClimateCheck’s proprietary risk assessment tools empower property buyers, owners, and brokers by exposing and quantifying climate risk to real estate. Our team of experts uses data from government, academic and other public and institutional sources, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to rank drought, heat, fire, flood, and storm risk for entire portfolios as well as individual properties.