Heat Hazard Index

Heatwave events are growing in frequency and duration, creating widespread social, infrastructure and environmental challenges for both civil and commercial enterprises. This increasingly present impact of climate change is particularly prominent in urban environments, where heatwave events are exacerbated due to land cover, compact infrastructure and the lack of vegetation or green spaces.

Understanding heat data and the impact of heat events is necessary for the future of urban planning, engineering and government policy making – enabling key decision makers to monitor and evidence critical environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns and better mitigate the potential impacts of their activities on people, surrounding environments and business assets.

4EI’s Heat Hazard Index

Our Heat Hazard products allow organisations to identify which areas are consistently subjected to higher relative temperatures than their surroundings, making them susceptible to overheating during a heatwave event. Achieved through our use of cutting-edge Machine Learning to create automated algorithms and workflows, our team can produce Heat Hazard mapping anywhere in the world. Products can be delivered in a flexible manner, for either country-wide or targeted heat data analysis.

Our Heat Hazard products give a visual representation of heat distribution in urban environments, supporting governments to devise sustainable planning solutions and mitigate the impacts of phenomena such as urban heat islands.

4EI Heat Hazard Index (30m)

4EI’s Heat Hazard Data analyses land surface temperature, which is then averaged over a specific time period to generate and display land heat hazard information at a 30m resolution. Whether you need to understand heat data in multiple locations or during a specific timeframe, we can produce a bespoke product to meet your needs.

4EI Heat Hazard Postcode Data (UK only)

This product combines space-powered data with traditional mapping (Ordnance Survey’s Code-Point ® polygons) to create a solution that displays UK heat concentrations in an easy-to-consume format. It provides an average heat risk value ranging from low to high, based on historical data, for every postcode in Great Britain.

With easily navigated outputs, users can identify key information at a glance, or interrogate data further to gain more intelligence – such as the likelihood that a heat event will have a high impact on a specific area. The product is readily available as an off-the-shelf solution, and can be easily integrated with other geospatial information and workflows.

Download Climate Ready Clyde Case Study

Download our case study with Climate Ready Clyde, for Glasgow City Region, which used 4EI’s Heat Hazard Index to explore the present heat risk to deprived and densely populated communities and determine opportunities to mitigate risk level.

Use cases

Local and national governments need to plan for reducing the impact of heat hazards and also plan for the impact of a warming world. Insurers need to know the risk that heat events may place on assets or critical infrastructure. This critical heat data supports the insight necessary to reduce risk, protect public health, and target intervention measures.

Our Heat Hazard products can be used to directly inform more sustainable decisions for asset management, urban planning, infrastructure development, engineering, corporate compliance, and ecology.

Specific use cases include:

  • Targeting the implementation of green and blue infrastructure within a city to reduce heat build-up
  • Creating more efficient and sustainable strategies for organising urban environments based on historical heat data
  • Street-level mapping (30m dataset) to identify areas at high risk of a heat event
  • Assessing the risk of rising heat towards vulnerable populations
  • Informing future climate strategies at a country-wide level through heat event impact assessment, as well as guiding other environmental regulations, standards and objectives
  • Creating business continuity plans that target cooling products, heat refuges and infrastructure protection
  • ESG and policy compliance for urban planning and corporate safety
  • Identifying areas susceptible to future risk, and alerting employees, stakeholders, customers and/or the public
  • Emergency response and impact mitigation planning

Partners & projects

  • Bristol City Council

    Bristol City Council

    We worked closely with Bristol City Council’s sustainability representatives to deliver a cost-effective solution to identify heat patterns and hazardous urban ‘hotspots’ using satellite imagery. This concept was applied to meet the client’s specific needs. The data we provided was an important first step in understanding Bristol’s urban heat island and the areas which may pose greatest heat risk to the population. These maps formed part of the evidence base which was used in the development of the Bristol One City Climate Strategy. The Heat Resilient Bristol project supported by the UK Climate Resilience Programme, will now use this data alongside other sources and additional modelling to develop a Heat Vulnerability Index. The 4EI team also contributed to workshops with a variety of different stakeholders in the city, explaining the output data in detail and how it was created.

  • Ordnance Survey (OS)

    Ordnance Survey (OS)

    4EI created the UK’s first street-level map depicting areas potentially at risk from extreme heat hazard, using Ordnance Survey’s Code-Point ® with polygons at the base. The Postcode Heat Hazard tool data was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which involved strict lockdowns where Great Britain’s populations had to remain indoors. This was offered as a six-month free resource for government organisations and emergency responders involved in the COVID-19 response, supporting heat risk assessment and resilience planning.

    4EI have established a partnership with OS whereby we can use their data and repurpose this for application in other products or solutions.

  • Clydeplan


    4EI provided a Heat Hazard dataset for the Glasgow City Region to help Clydeplan analyse where there were regional opportunities for effective greening, cooling or development of climate emergency infrastructure. The aim was to use the data to mitigate the risk of heat to communities that are vulnerable, particularly when locked down in the summer months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    This data was spatially analysed in conjunction with vacant and derelict land, population density and the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, to identify the most beneficial areas to focus on to mitigate the impacts of lockdown, as well as to support wider regional adaptation through Climate Ready Clyde, the region’s climate adaptation initiative.