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Terrafirma launches climate-focused ground risk assessment

Jake Carter

November 24, 2020

Terrafirma has launched the National Ground Risk Model (NGRM): Climate.

According to Terrafirma, this will provide lenders with a modelled, ground risk dataset, which will help them understand how ground risk may impact their mortgage book under a changing climate.

NGRM: Climate includes the UK’s first map of group risk data, which enables lenders to understand the risk to properties they lend against as the climate changes.

Tom Backhouse, chief executive and founder of Terrafirma, said: “The release of the NGRM: Climate is a game-changer for understanding ground risk.

“It dramatically improves the quality, availability and accessibility of ground hazard and risk information for lenders.

“Across the UK, homes, infrastructure and land are at risk from complex ground hazards that can remain hidden for years.

“Every day decisions worth millions of pounds are being made without true understanding of the consequences of these hazards, so Terrafirma set out to improve understanding of the ground and the complex ways it interacts with the built environment.”

In addition, it will enable lenders to meet the demands of the Bank of England and the PRS under its 2021 Biennial Exploratory Scenarios (BES) to understand climate-related financial risks, outlined Terrafirma.

The BES aims to test the resilience of banks, insurers and the financial system to different climate pathways.

Furthermore, the assessment will meet the Bank of England’s requirements by providing a model of how ground risk will change in low, medium and high emission scenarios in the short-term (2020-2040), medium-term (2040-2060) and long-term (2060-2080).

The model has been developed by geologists, soil scientists, engineers and geospatial data analysts.

Terrafirma detailed that the model combines geological, soils, mining, coastal erosion, landslide and climate data with nine of the Met Office’s UK Climate Projections (UKCP18) emissions scenarios and provides lenders with easy-to-understand risk scores.

It also includes a new coastal hazards model, which clearly illustrates the projected impacts of rising sea levels and increased erosion on coastal property and land.

The model will enable the user to instantly access ground risk information for every property, parcel of land and asset in the UK.

Backhouse added: “We have worked on NGRM: Climate for 18-months to provide the first commercial model of its kind.

“The model has been engineered by geologists, soil scientists and geospatial data experts.

“It provides a foundation for lenders to make decisions with a greater understanding of the ground and issues that can affect the value of the property they are lending against, in a manner that is easy to understand.

“This will help them to make informed decisions without needed to be ground risk specialists themselves.”


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