The effects of Climate Change is Affecting are increasingly making themselves known and are more than likely here to stay. Here’s how rapidly shifting weather patterns are affecting the construction industry specifically and how buildings will need to adapt both now and in the future.
The Impact of Wet Weather- Climate Change is Affecting
A milder, wetter climate means that buildings will need to be constructed in such a way to ensure that this extra rainwater and meltwater is directed away from houses, roads, and paved areas. Enhanced drainage and flood-protection features are now being factored into some modern housing designs, and there’s a focus on the overall resilience of new structures to adapt to this changing natural environment.
The increased amount of rainfall can compromise some older properties especially, with water damage occurring around chimney stacks and on the walls adjacent to external doorways or windows that have deteriorated and subsequently allow water to penetrate. Click here to find out more about choosing a window replacement company if this is an issue that you are experiencing and to discover some examples of energy-efficient options for your home.
The construction industry is facing louder and louder calls to incorporate more recycled or sustainable materials into its building practices and to reuse already existing buildings rather than demolish them to create space to construct new builds.
Manufacturing building materials, such as steel and bricks, create inordinately high levels of carbon emissions; 8% of total global CO2 emissions are generated by the production of cement. With the public ever more conscious of the impact of our daily ways of life on the planet, the pressure on the building industry, in the wake of climate change, is only set to grow stronger.
New Working Practices
The urgent need to address climate change is resulting in a growing collaboration between various sectors of the construction industry. For example, developers and designers are more frequently communicating with engineers and contractors to reduce the overall waste created as part of the building project.
Life-cycle costing, whole-life carbon modeling, and post-occupancy evaluation are also now being applied as part of the development process, with the aim being to manage the project in a way that makes the best use of resources and is as sustainable long-term as possible.
Adapting For Increased Temperatures
With temperatures and humidity likely to continue to rise, the construction industry is having to begin factoring these changes into its designs for both housing and commercial builds. The places where we live and work are going to require the facility for extra cooling in the warmer months – while the environmental impact of air-conditioning use needs to be factored into plans, too.
Adaptations to building planning, the external structure of the buildings, the materials that this is made of, and room and airflow design will all need to come into play to help ensure the comfort of those occupying these houses, offices, and workplaces. The rise in humidity and damp conditions makes the problem of mold developing in buildings almost inevitable, and the building industry will need to adapt to counter this.
Increased temperatures can also be hazardous for those working on building sites, with some machines not able to work properly in particularly high ambient heat, and this needs to be considered carefully when it comes to the future of the construction industry.
Adverse Weather Conditions
One of the hallmarks of climate change is the huge increase of extreme weather incidences across the globe, which have been prevalent in recent years. As the climate shifts further, these types of weather events will become more and more common; expect freak snowstorms, unexpected deluges, and heatwaves to happen regularly.
These conditions can prove extremely disruptive to construction work itself, with sites needing to be regularly closed down and the risk of damage to partially-constructed properties. Added to this is the growing necessity for all new buildings to be constructed to be resilient, in terms of preventing them from sustaining damage from ever more extreme weather.
Building resilient properties starts with the selection of the building site to minimize potential problems down the line. After this, every aspect of the build should take into account future-proofing the construction against climate change; this will involve, for example, incorporating high-quality insulation, ensuring basement walls are sealed properly to prevent water and mold damage, and thinking about roof construction in terms of its ability to withstand a greater weight of water or snow than would previously need to have been taken into account.
Incorporating Energy Efficiency- Climate Change is Affecting
Finally, both in terms of new builds and retrofitting, incorporating energy-efficiencies into homes and workplaces has been a fundamental part of the construction industry’s response to the climate change crisis. Solar panels are now seen as a standard part of house-building, and insulation is built into the walls of most new properties and can be added to older buildings with relative ease.
The construction industry is, in many ways, at the heart of the climate change problem – and there is the opportunity for it to be at the heart of the solution, too, a challenge that we can only hope that it rises to.