The International Journal of Forensic Engineering recently issued a paper that weighs in on how climate change will impact future design and construction projects. The paper looks at long-term trends in global temperatures and compares what has been predicted in models to what was measured. The researchers expect temperatures to increase 7 degrees Fahrenheit through 2100 and further note that current models may be “running too cold.”
In addition to research and an examination of possible impacts of climate change on future projects, the paper largely serves as a call to action for engineers to continue to press for sustainable building design that considers both current and future conditions. Resilient design is the focus of many in the AEC community who have also voiced concern over the current administration’s standpoint on the environment and the green building movement.
The Obama administration designed federal incentives that supported sustainable design and construction strategies. Many of these incentives included incorporating resilient building codes into projects that fell under the departments of Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture. Resilient codes were also incorporated in the General Services Administration’s (GSA) capital investment leasing program.
Despite a lack of mandatory national building codes, many states cities and states have addressed sustainability and resiliency on their own by initiating local resiliency mandates. New York City is at the forefront of this effort, debuting the city’s first resiliency guide this year. The Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines is still in draft form but encourages city agencies to respond to issues related to climate change like precipitation changes, flooding, storm surges, sea-level increases, etc. on all projects.