It’s your money ・ Hurricanes, flooding, fires. Buying a home?

It’s your money. ・ Hurricanes, flooding, wildfires. Buying a home? Approach your investment with care and due diligence.

Buying a home involves an enormous amount of money, and few people do it often enough to be experts. Given the realities of climate change, the process is now set against a backdrop of radical uncertainty about the very ground you will live on and the air you will breathe.

Given all that, you owe it to yourself to call on every dispassionate expert you can find and grab all available data on any risk you are taking on.”

There is a case for optimism here, where the world comes together and manages to turn the (rising) tides. So if you are a positive thinker or can afford a big loss, by all means bet one of your biggest assets on that possibility.

Otherwise, ask yourself this: Just how much more science and weather will it take before ever larger numbers of people decide to settle in or retire to places that pose less risk? And once they do, do you want to be trying to unload your property in a danger zone so you can afford to join them?

You’re Buying a Home? Have You Considered Climate Change?”, Ron Lieber, The New York Times, 2 December 2016

Research and understand highly pertinent issues such as those that follow below. Examine flood zones, flood insurance, fire zones, and the term Wildland Urban Interface (WUI, indexes the conversion of wildland to developed territory).

In the context of wildfires, a cornerstone of risk evaluation is a metric called the Wildland Urban Interface, or WUI. WUI indexes the conversion of wildland to developed territory. WUI indicates an explosion in wildland development over recent years.

According to the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) measurement framework, the conversion rate from wildlands to urban development has grown to 4,000 acres per day or close to 2 million acres per year.

The explosion in WUI development increasingly puts homeowners, firefighters and communities at risk of wildfire – a risk that is only growing across the United States as the globe warms and aridification worsens. Since the 1980s, large fires in Northern California have increased by 60 percent. Some forests in the Pacific Northwest have seen a 5,000 percent increase in annual burned land

According to the  2017 Verisk Wildfire Risk Analysis, more than 2 million of the 4.5 million homes at high or extreme risk of wildfire are in California.

We should start by learning which regions are most at risk. Many people assume that most WUI lands fall in the western states. The large eastern and southern states have the most land in the WUI. In 2016, Kansas and Oklahome saw over a million acres burn – that’s an area bigger than the state of Rhode Island. 

The so-called “fire season” has continued to lengthen over the past several decades, and that, since 2000, climate change has been attributed to adding 9 additional days of high fire season. The environmental context facing designers and developers is thus increasingly risky.

We Should Plan Homes to Minimize the Threat of Wildfires,” Jesse M. Keenan and Alice Hill, Newsweek, 21 October 2017

Services & infrastructure

Sources & uses of municipal services such as flood- and fire-prevention, -recovery, and related maintenance services.

How much does the locality (village, town, county, parish, state) pay for public services such as roads, pumps, fire services, drinking water, sewage, etc. Where does the money come from. 

Sources & uses of flood- and fire-prevention and -recovery service funds

How are flood- and fire-prevention and -recovery services financed and funded. How long will flood- and fire-prevention and -recovery services be affordable. How is “affordable” defined.

Home-purchase finance

If you plan to finance a purchase with a mortgage, examine how banks and insurance companies are currently managing flood- and fire-prone properties in their portfolios. What are the trend lines? What steps are being taken by banks and insurance companies vis a vis such properties to protect their balance sheets over the long term.


Examine how insurance companies are managing flood- and fire-prone properties in their portfolios. What are the trend lines? What steps are being taken by insurance companies vis a vis such properties to protect their balance sheets over the long term.

What are current premiums? Is the appropriate insurance provided by private companies, by the government? How much will you receive in case of a disaster? Will you receive the full market value of the damaged property?

Sources & uses of energy

Energy matters. Know sources and uses of energy. A house designed and built for low energy unit intensity offers multiple advantages.

Sources, uses, costs, & quality of water

Water matters. Know sources, uses, costs, and quality of water.

Building materials

Building materials and construction matter. Know how and of what materials the house is constructed. Is the house built for fire resilience? Is the house built for flood resilience?

Access & transportation infrastructure

Access matters. How is the neighborhood served by transportation. Can you get to work / school / the doctor’s and dentist’s office / the grocery store and shops / all those important places by foot, bike, bus, train? Must you drive a car? (Think of the CO2 emissions that are exacerbating both the floods and the fires.) Are there multiple lines of access? One road?

Climate change

Research climate change and its effects in your geographical area of interest.

A team & teamwork matter

Develop a team of experts, whom you can trust and consult and with whom you can work together, in your geographical area of interest.

As you delve into these questions, here are links to articles, and there are many more, that provide information, insight, perspective and links to further sources of information.


You’re Buying a Home? Have You Considered Climate Change?”, Ron Lieber, Your Money | The New York Times, 2 December 2016

Flooding Risk Knocks $7 Billion Off Home Values, Study Finds,” Laura Kusisto, The Wall Street Journal, 25 August 2018

Your coastal property has already lost value to sea rise. This site can tell you how much”, Alex Harris, Miami Herald, 25 July 2018

Fire Weather Outlooks (updated daily), NOAA’s National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center, Fire Weather Outlooks

Why does California have so many wildfires?”, Kendra Pierre-Louis, The New York Times, 9 November 2018

Forced Out by Deadly Fires, Then Trapped in Traffic,” Jack Nicas, Thomas Fuller, Tim Arango, The New York Times, 11 November 2018

Jesse M. Keenan in Newsweek: time is now to evaluate design risk, enhance resilience against wildfires,” Travis Dagenais, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 24 October 2017

We Should Plan Homes to Minimize the Threat of Wildfires,” Jesse M. Keenan and Alice Hill, Newsweek, 21 October 2017

North Carolina, Warned of Rising Seas, Chose to Favor Development,” John Schwartz and Richard Fausset, The New York Times, 12 September 2018

Perils of Climate Change Could Swamp Coastal Real Estate,” Ian Urbina, The New York Times, 24 November 2016

Underwater. Rising Seas, Chronic Floods, and the Implications for US Coastal Real Estate,” Union of Concerned Scientists, 2018

Del Mar stands firm against ‘planned retreat”, Phil Diehl, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 May 2018

Can Miami Beach survive global warming?”, David Kamp, Vanity Fair, 10 November 2015

Rising seas, distressed communities, and ‘climate gentrification’: Jesse M. Keenan talks Miami in Vice, Scientific American,” Travis Dagenais, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 14 August 2017

California Today: Now Comes the Insurance Challenge,” Mike McPhate, The New York Times, 11 October 2017

Climate change and commercial real estate: How resilient is your portfolio?” Jeffrey Kanne, Carlos Madex-Madani, Sam Bendix, Institutional Real Estate, Inc., 1 June 2017

Settling post-catastrophe insurance claims: What agents should know,” Bernice Ross, Inman, 5 September 2017

High Ground Is Becoming Hot Property as Sea Level Rises,” Erika Bolstad, Scientific American, 1 May 2017

Wildland-Urban Interface: Key Issues,” L. Annie Hermansen-Báez, Jennifer Seitz, and Martha C. Monroe, Joint product of InterfaceSouth of the Centers for Urban and Interface Forestry, Southern Research Station, U.S. Forest Service and the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). Published March 2009.

Key findings from the 2017 Verisk wildfire risk analysis,” Arindam Samanta, Verisk, 12 July 2017

The Wildland-Urban Interface in the United States,” Susan I. Stewart, Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Evanston, IL (, Volker C. Radeloff, Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Roger B. Hammer, Department of Sociology, Oregon State University

R8 Property’s energy positive Powerhouse Telemark

Powerhouse Telemark, an energy positive (producing more energy than it consumes) 6,500-square-meter (70,000-square-foot), 11-story office building, has been commissioned by real estate developer Emil Eriksrød for the Norwegian town of Porsgrunn.

Eriksrød has commissioned the American-Norwegian architecture and design firm Snøhetta to design the building. Powerhouse Telemark is set to be completed in February of 2019.

 “The future is all about thinking big, bold, and long term,” says Snøhetta founding partner Kjetil Trædal Thorson, “and we need someone to pave the way. With its innovative solutions and design, we believe this building will inspire commercial real estate developers worldwide to push the limits of what buildings can accomplish”.

“The world needs a lot of energy-positive buildings,” observes the developer, Emil Eriksrød, CEO of R8 Property. “I hope we will be plagiarized and copied, replicated in all seven continents.”

“This building should do wonders in lowering the bar for daring to do both spectacular and environmentally forward buildings, hopefully in a combination”.


Snøhetta Designs World’s Northernmost Energy Positive Building in Norway,” Patrick Lynch, ArchDaily, 18 January 2017

Snøhetta designs ‘potentially world-changing office building’ for small Norwegian town,” Amy Frearson, Dezeen, 19 January 2017


#powerhousetelemark #emileriksrød #r8property # snøhetta #porsgrunn #norway #design #architecture #engineering #realestatedevelopment #realestate #commercialrealestate #energy #energypositive #solar #solarenergy #co2 #resilience #luxury #art #artmarket #collections #collectionsmanagement #museums #newyork #berlin #milan #beijing #shanghai #hongkong #seoul #taipei #jakarta #singapore

Mark Bradford: “Constitution IV” (2013)

Mark Bradford’s “Constitution IV” (mixed media on canvas, 2013) sold, from the collection of Fredric Brandt, plastic surgeon to the stars, for £3,778,500 at the Phillips London Contemporary Art Evening Sale of 14 October 2015. This sale set an auction record, since exceeded, for the artist.

Mark Bradford, born in Los Angeles, California in 1961, continues to live and work in Los Angeles. He has been exclusively represented by Hauser & Wirth since 2015.

Christopher Bedford, director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, considers Mark Bradford to be “the most important living abstract painter”.

The catalogue prepared by Phillips observes that “Mark Bradford’s vast tactile works characterized by their décollaged surfaces, evoke a sense of transience and instability. In compositions such as ‘Constitution IV’ however, these ideas transcend material objects and infiltrate less physical subjects consequently, indicating the fragility of seemingly solid notions.”

The essay continues, “Using printed text through his collage and décollage technique the canvas becomes a surface offering insights into further meanings and depths … Thus, the viewer is drawn into Bradford’s works in order to try and draw meaning from the myriad of letters flickering in and out of focus.”


Phillips, Contemporary Art Evening Sale, London, 14 October 2015, Lot 21

Phillips Rebounds With $48.8M Contemporary Art Haul in London, Setting Records for Bradford and Nara,” Nate Freeman, ArtNews, 14 October 2015;

This Painting Will Put Mark Bradford among the Most Expensive Living Artists,” Nate Freeman, Artsy, 22 February 2018


#art #artmarket #markbradford #contemporaryart #abstraction #collection #artcollector #hauser&wirth #baltimoremuseumofart #christopherbedford #baltimore #maryland #losangeles #california #venice #luxury #newyork #paris #berlin #london #beijing #shanghai #hongkong #seoul #tokyo #taipei #jakarta #singapore #realestate #commercialrealestate



“Suprematist Composition” (Kazimir Malevich, 1916) to be sold in May

Loïc Gouzer, Christie’s Co-Chairman of Post-War and Contemporary Art, has announced that he will be selling the painting “Suprematist Composition” (Kazimir Malevich, oil on canvas, 1916) in May. Estimate: $70 million.

“Suprematist Composition” was last sold at Sotheby’s on 3 November 2008 by the heirs of the artist (after being in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam for several decades). Art dealer David Nahmad purchased the painting for US $60,002,500.

Mr. Gouzer is confident of the art historic, and current market, value of this work. “‘A work like this one should be the corner stone of every major collection or museum and if the market was indexed to the art historical importance of works, then this should be a billion $ painting (although we as specialists have to sadly take into account the laws of gravity and the estimate will be in the region of $70m).'”

Sixth sense matters. “’I relate it a lot to my spearfishing—you don’t know why, but you know that if you dive now the big fish is going to come. When you’re at the surface, you don’t see anything, but you just have this instinct that it is going to happen. In art, it is the same thing—this instinct sometimes that I know a painting is going to move.’”

Company matters too. “’If you start putting works around another work, they give each other meaning. Each of the works are in dialogue, and they help each other.'”



Loïc Gouzer’s $70m Malevich for May,” Marion Maneker, Art Market Monitor, 10 April 2018

The Daredevil of the Auction World,” Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 4 July 2016

Sotheby’s “Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale,” Lot No. 6, Kazimir Malevich, “Suprematist Composition,” 3 November 2008, New York


#art #artmarket #kazimirmalevich #christie’s #loïcgouzer #russia #suprematism #suprematistcomposition #modernism #abstraction #geneva #switzerland #vienna #austria #brittany #france #sothebys #davidnahmad #luxury #beijing #shanghai #hongkong #taipei #seoul #jakarta #singapore

art, real estate, luxury, & global risks

“Humanity has become remarkably adept at understanding how to mitigate conventional risks that can be relatively easily isolated and managed with standard risk-management approaches. But we are much less competent when it comes to dealing with complex risks in the interconnected systems that underpin our world, such as organizations, economies, societies and the environment.

“There are signs of strain in many of these systems: our accelerating pace of change is testing the absorptive capacities of institutions, communities and individuals.

“When risk cascades through a complex system, the danger is not of incremental damage but of “runaway collapse” or an abrupt transition to a new, suboptimal status quo.”

See: “The Global Risks Report 2018, 13th Edition” | World Economic Forum (WEF); Strategic Partners: Marsh & McLennan Companies, Zurich Insurance Company; Academic Advisors: National University of Singapore, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, University of Pennsylvania

#art #artmarket #collectionsmanagement #data #analytics #risk #riskanalysis #riskmanagement #riskmitigation #climaterisk #insurance #insurancerisk #realestate #commercialrealestate #culturalrealestate  #culturalheritage #luxury #resilience #CO2

art, real estate, luxury, & billion-dollar storms | the new normal?

The superstorms and wildfires of 2017 cost the US $306 billion.

As the temperatures of the oceans rise, the increasing temperatures will increase how strong hurricanes can become.

As global temperatures continue to rise, things will get more costly.

The new normal?

There are proactive steps you can take to protect and enhance the value of your tangible assets.

See: “Billion-Dollar Storms: Is This the New Normal?” | Deborah Acosta, The New York Times, 29 January 2018

#art #artmarket #collections #collectionsmanagement #artrisk #insurance #insurancerisk #realestate #commercialrealestate #culturalrealestate #realestaterisk #GRESB #GlobalRealEstateSustainabilityBenchmarks #climaterisk #financialrisk #CO2 #resilience #luxury #smartluxury


global investment in renewable energy & energy-smart technologies

Annual figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) show that global investment in renewable energy and energy-smart technologies reached $333.5 billion last year, up 3% from a revised $324.6 billion in 2016, and only 7% short of the record figure of $360.3 billion, reached in 2015.

Chinese investment in all the clean energy technologies was $132.6 billion, up 24% setting a new record. The next biggest investing country was the U.S., at $56.9 billion, up 1% on 2016.

Solar led the way, as mentioned above, attracting $160.8 billion – equivalent to 48% of the global total for all of clean energy investment.

Wind was the second-biggest sector for investment in 2017, at $107.2 billion. Down 12% on 2016 levels.

The third-biggest sector was energy-smart technologies, where asset finance of smart meters and battery storage, and equity-raising by specialist companies in smart grid, efficiency, storage and electric vehicles, reached $48.8 billion in 2017, up 7% on the previous year and the highest ever.


Runaway 53GW Solar Boom in China Pushed Global Clean Energy Investment Ahead in 2017” | Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 16 January 2018

#cleanenergy #renewableenergy #energy #finance #solar #wind #energy-smarttech #tech #investments #luxury #smartluxury  #realestate #commercialrealestate #resilience #CO2




energy efficient, living smart, developing a legacy, increasing sales

Maracay Homes, an Arizona homebuilding company and leader in the Arizona real estate industry, “providing homebuyers with smarter choices,” for more than 25 years, reports a correlation between EnergySmart, energy efficiency, and sales.

““We have outperformed our competitors because of the Energy Star and LEED component,” reports Maracay Marketing Manager Elise Goodell. “Realtors and prospects are seeing a lift in value, and they are willing to pay for the LEED certification…'”

The home construction company, headquartered in upscale Scottsdale, Arizona and serving the Phoenix- and Tuscson-area markets, correlates EnergySmart with LivingSmart in its entirety and the quality of life of homeowners together with legacy and better sales.

All homes constructed by Maracay are now Energy Star-certified.

Two years ago Maracay “beta tested” LEED certification on a small scale. Maracay understands LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) to provide a more holistic analysis of home energy savings than Energy Star ratings and an educational requirement, on a small scale. The company is now integrating LEED on a large scale.

One essential element in Maracay’s educational campaign is an in-depth, locally produced video that includes interviews with potential (and actual) buyers and a walk-through of an under-construction Maracay home, hosted by D.R. Wastchak (DRW), a local Arizona energy efficiency rating company with a 17-year track record in the field and a list of credits that includes EPA ‘Partner of the Year.’”


Arizona homebuilding company finds success with energy efficiency” | Tina Casey, Inman, 29 December 2017

Maracay Homes

#homes #homeconstruction #buildingtechnology #sales #homesales #realtors #realestate #commercialrealestate #culturalrealestate #energy #energyefficiency #LEED #USGBC #EnergyStar #luxury #smartluxury #CO2 #Arizona #Scottsdale #Phoenix #Tuscon #MaracayHomes #resilience #art #collectionsmanagement#education #health #wellness #family


HouseZero ・retrofitting a 1924-era wood-frame house

Harvard University’s Center for Green Buildings and Cities, in collaboration with international architecture and design firm Snøhetta, is retrofitting a wood frame house built in 1924 in what is now an historic district of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The house now serves as the Center’s headquarters.

The retrofit is intended to fulfill multiple objectives:

A focus on inefficient existing buildings. In the United States, buildings consume around 40% of energy produced annually. This equates to more than $230 billion spent annually by property owners heating, cooling, and powering the nation’s 123.6 million homes. Housing consumes 18-23% of that.

A focus on using current technologies together with better design.

The use of zero energy for heating and cooling. A retrofitted building that produces more energy than it consumes.

100% natural ventilation and daylight autonomy

Zero CO2 emissions, including embodied energy in materials

A positive rather than a negative impact on the surrounding environment. A house conducive to occupant health, encouraging productivity and creativity.

Use of self-generated data that will allow the building to self-adjust. The house will adjust itself seasonally and daily to achieve thermal comfort targets.

The development of ideas and a working model that can be used by homeowners as they seek to renovate existing houses towards significant energy and carbon use improvements without costly or wasteful tear-downs.

The Center for Green Buildings and Cities will not seek any kind of independent certification, such as USGBC LEED, WELL, or Living Building certification. The intent is, rather, to exceed those standards’ criteria.

The renovation, says Ali Malkawi, professor of architectural technology and founding director of the CGBC, is guided not only by the goal of net zero energy consumption with 100% natural light and ventilation but also by the understanding that a green building is “a sustainable building, which means it has the lowest impact on its surrounding environment as possible. It might have a positive effect on its environment—the surrounding as well as the global.” Such a building is, furthermore, “healthy for its occupants” and encourages productivity and creativity.


Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities unveils HouseZero project, an ambitious retrofit of its Cambridge headquarters” | Travis Dagenais, Harvard Graduate School of Design, 25 May 2017

Harvard’s ‘HouseZero’” | Alisha Ukani, Harvard Magazine, 3 August 2017

Future Home: HouseZero” | Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities”

#architecture #architecturaltechnology #buildingtechnology #technology #design #engineering #netzero #energy #resilience #CO2 #home #luxury #smartluxury #retrofit #homeownership #realestate #commercialrealestate #culturalrealestate #culturalheritage #art #collectionsmanagement #museums #galleries #snøhetta #harvard #harvardcenterforgreenbuildingsandcities #Cambridge #data #health #wellness #family

Architect Stefano Boeri-designed Liuzhou Forest City

Recognizing the capacity of trees and plants to absorb carbon pollution and the critical need for urban forests, Italian architect and urban planner Stefano Boeri has contributed to the design of Liuzhou Forest City, now under construction in China.

Intended to help provide homes for a rapidly growing population without creating more carbon pollution, the plan calls for terraced buildings with almost a million plants and 40,000 trees.

Should you have interest in tangible assets such as works of art, art collections, luxury, and/or real estate, all of which interact physically with their surroundings and all of which are affected by carbon pollution (excess of CO2), this news will be of interest.

Should you wish your tangible assets to perform at an optimal level, please feel free to be in touch.


China is building a futuristic ‘forest city’ with more trees than people” | Daisy Simmons, Yale Climate Connections, 26 December 2017

#architecture #design #urbanplanning #engineering #StefanoBoeri #CO2 #carbonpollution #trees #urbanforests #resilience #luxury #urbanluxury #smartluxury #urbanliving #tangibleassets #art #artcollections #collectionsmanagement #realestate #commercialrealestate #culturalrealestate #Yale