Climate Change Impact on Buildings and Constructions
Progress demands sacrifice. Unfortunately for all of us, the offering is just too great. The ever-increasing demand for consumerism transformed our way of living, leading to many challenges that we are now facing. It is the reason why the construction industry is now redirecting its efforts to sustainable building. Below explains the impact of climate change on buildings and constructions
The effects of climate change are already unmistakable. We see a lot of evidence of these phenomena already. From rising sea levels to the melting of ice caps, the effects of these conditions will continue to exacerbate. This can continue until we change our ways and commit to a long-term solution to our current predicament.
Here are some observable forces that are already wreaking havoc:
Excessive Heat Causing Droughts and Wildfires
Due to CO2 gas trapping more heat yearly and rising demands for a better quality of life, we now end up with more heat than before. The gradual increase in temperature is causing more and more destruction resulting in trillions of dollars lost. It also doesn’t help that clearing lands to construct more buildings is a priority.
These destructions manifest themselves in the form of drought and wildfires. Currently, this dry spell lasts longer, with the intensity far fiercer compared to previous decades. This fierceness is causing many establishments to consume more energy, leading to a higher monthly bill, not to mention the strain it inflicts on the HVAC system due to a higher consumption load.
Wildfire cases are also increasing due to the intensity of the heat. The scale and damages it causes are heartbreaking. The current wildfires would rage for days, even weeks, displacing people and consuming property and lives equally. It costs more to fight this force yearly as the heat ignites the bone-dry areas, resulting in more wildfire incidents.
Hurricanes grow over the tropics’ warm ocean water. Cooler air replaces warm moist air as it rises above the water. The colder air would begin to warm and climb as a result. Big storm clouds form as a result of this loop. These storm clouds will begin to churn, and if enough warm water is present, the loop will continue. This in turn allows the storm clouds and wind levels to increase, resulting in the formation of a hurricane.
Due to global warming, stronger hurricanes are now a common occurrence. Based on projections, the rate of these hurricanes appearing will steadily increase. In the past, it is seldom to see Category 5 storms but moving forward, many of these categories will appear to damage coastal areas or locations close to them.
Coastal erosion resulting from coastal storms and high tides caused hundreds of millions of damages annually. Hurricanes and other natural disasters cause flooding along all coastlines; the most destructive factors are those that combine storm surge at high tide with additional effects from heavy waves—conditions generally associated with landfalling tropical storms.
Sustainable construction, also known as a green building, results from a design theory that focuses on improving resource quality — while reducing building impacts on human health and the atmosphere throughout the building’s life cycle by improved sitting, planning, design, renovation, service, and removal.
This philosophy in design affects the development of new ideas to meet the needs of power, materials, and water services. Green buildings are constructed and run to minimize the total effect of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:
- Using electricity, water, and other services efficiently.
- Protecting occupant health and increasing employee efficiency.
- Reducing waste, emissions, and environmental deterioration.
Climate Change Affecting the Construction Industry
Due to the many challenges caused by climate change and the worsening of weather conditions globally, companies worldwide are leading the way to pioneer a way to combat this problematic predicament. Here are some of the ways the construction industry is evolving to adapt:
Designing for Future Climate Conditions
The durability of construction materials will reduce, and the indoor environment of buildings will be affected by a milder climate. Hotter summers would necessitate further cooling. Higher groundwater levels, higher water levels in waterways and watercourses, and a higher chance of storm surges along the coast make it necessary to protect structures from seepage and flooding.
Rainwater and meltwater are direct away from homes, paved fields, sidewalks, and other structures during wet winters and unexpected, intense downpours.
Structures Evolve to Combat Climate Change
Only if building specifications are improved can new constructions adapt. However, when it comes to reinforcing existing structures, self-adaptation would be constrained if owners are unaware of the vulnerabilities in their structures’ bearing components. Installing Air conditioning may mitigate the effects of heatwaves in existing buildings and a need for more effective indoor temperature control facilities.
As a result of the unfortunate realities of climate change, there has been a surge in interest in green building practices. Switching to modular bamboo for materials, for example, is both environmentally friendly and perfect building material. Translucent Wood has many advantages, including providing natural indoor illumination and the ability to be used in solar power cells.
The concrete proof of this change in direction is how contractors put so much weight on an increase in their LEED ratings. It could be by simply installing roof hatches to provide a safe way to access roof areas or having a green roof (garden roof) on your building as part of its eco-friendly design to absorb some of the carbon emissions.
In the future, it might be indispensable to notify current building owners of common bearing factor vulnerabilities, along with guidance on how to correct them. Similarly, new building strategies to reduce indoor temperature extremes during heat waves, especially for vulnerable buildings, may be required.
Finally, construction technicians will need to inform or recommend future-oriented planning conditions. These plans can include maximum snow load and wind direction, future heatwave temperatures and durations, and the maximum precipitation level a building can tolerate.
Final on the Impact of Climate Change
The construction industry continues to explore new ways to battle with the current predicaments this world is now facing. The progress is slow, and with the pandemic stifling much of the progress, the future is uncertain and bleak, but the current designs and technology give a glimmer of hope for the future. You can learn more about such progress by consulting a professional.