Paths to Addressing Climate Risk in the Design, Construction and Operation of the Built Environment


Dr. Ryan Colker, National Institiute of Building Sciences
Dr. Richard Wright, American Society of Civil Engineers
Ms. Ann Kosmal, U.S. General Services Administration



Climate change and increasing populations in vulnerable locations are changing the risks faced by communities and the nation as a whole. The current design, construction and operations process must evolve to address these risks. Past events are no longer a good predictor of future events. The codes, standards and other guidance that designers have relied on to deliver high-performance projects are based on past events. New methodologies are needed to help incorporate climate/weather science into the process. Climate scientists and building scientists must come together to greater understand the data that can be delivered and how it could be used by the building industry.
The American Society of Civil Engineers has begun to examine how engineering practice and the standards and guidance designers rely on will need to change. Their Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate (CACC) has issued a white paper, Adapting Infrastructure and Civil Engineering Practice to a Changing Climate, calling for the development of methods appropriate for incorporation in practice, codes, standards and other guidance for dealing with non-stationarity and uncertainties of future extremes. The National Institute of Building Sciences Consultative Council has called for an effort to bring climate scientists and building scientists together to identify approaches for the use of climate data in design, construction and operations decision making. The U.S. Government Accountability Office examined the need to incorporate future climate risk in codes, standards and other guidance and how federal agencies should engage in such efforts. This workshop will identify the issues surrounding incorporation of climate risk into design, construction and operations and potential solutions identified to date and then engage participants in identifying paths forward.

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