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Climate Change Forcing Builders to Rethink How They Design Structures

Climate change and the resiliency of cities has been a hot topic in recent weeks, particularly in the wake of the wildfire in Fort McMurray. The fire forced nearly 90,000 people from their homes and is expected to be the costliest disaster in Canadian history. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, there was approximately $3.6 billion in damages.

Extreme weather conditions such as wildfires and floods are becoming more frequent and more difficult to predict, forcing architects and engineers to rethink the way they design buildings, infrastructures and cities.

Events such as the Fort McMurray wildfire and the floods that hit Alberta in 2013 have led to changes in how structures are designed in Canada. Now that weather events are becoming less predictable, designing a building or city requires a more performance based approach.

The shift towards a performance-based approach allows for buildings to be designed to take into account a structure’s unique attributes and its surroundings – rather than adhering to the one-size-fits-all approach outlined in many building codes.

Technological advances in recent years have made it easier for architects and engineers to use computer simulations and models to predict how a structure would fare in the event of an earthquake, fire, flood, or wind event.

One downside to these technological advances is that although it makes it easier for designers to create more weather resilient buildings, it has also made natural disasters much more costly.

Jordan Fellner, CIP, CRM, HUB International PROFESSIONAL

HUB International PROFESSIONAL specialists are based in Vancouver. Our longstanding relationships with the best providers in the business allow us to provide you with solutions that make the most sense for you, whatever the size of your design practice.

Original article source: Climate change forcing builders to rethink how they design structures, expert says

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