Preparing buildings for climate change

We share a few tips about how buildings can prepare for the new climate conditions that seem inevitable with climate change and how to lower the greenhouse emissions of homes and offices.

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Although climate change is officially part of the public discussion, the damage caused by environmental neglect is escalating quicker than anticipated. It’s important that we do all we can to mitigate the effects of a warming world, suggests The Environmental Magazine

The 2030 Challenge sets the goal of carbon-neutral buildings within the next 12 years, which means buildings and building design will have to pivot to keep up with the changing climate conditions expected in 2018 and beyond.

Here’s a look at how buildings can prepare for the new climate conditions and how to lower the greenhouse emissions of homes and offices.

COPING WITH WARMER TEMPERATURES
By 2050, places like New York will experience much higher temperatures. Building designs need to be more environmentally friendly to cope with warmer temperatures, and that means changing the approach to building design and lifestyles.

  • Natural ventilation  Some buildings are designed to be entirely reliant on natural ventilation. Removing and supplying a building’s air via natural means eliminates the requirement of a fan or other mechanical systems. Typically, pressure differences are harnessed between the indoors and outside to encourage the flow of air.
  • High-efficiency equipment  The higher the efficiency of your lighting appliances, office facilities and other electrical features, the less energy is wasted. Be sure to limit unnecessary energy use by using high-efficiency equipment.
  • Green roofing  Urban heat islands heighten cooling requirements and also create clusters of city smog. It is not unheard of, in fact, for these islands to maintain levels of  3 to 4°C above local temperatures. One way to fight this is through using roofing with reflective surfaces to prevent further absorption of the sun’s heat.

    Rubber roofing is likely to become more popular, especially in high-temperature areas, due to its ability to stand up to high temperatures. In fact, rubber is extremely resistant to the impacts and effects of sun and heat.

WATER-SAVING MEASURES|
Along with warmer temperatures will come changes in precipitation patterns. This is not good news for water levels…

  • Avoid drier areas  To cope with more occurrences of drought or water shortages, development should be avoided in dry regions. Some cities are even being required to prove they can support a new development’s future water needs for 20 years.
  • Use water-efficient fixtures  High-quality and efficient water fixtures should be part of any new building design, as water-conserving products save a significant amount of water. In addition, buildings should include structured plumbing and greywater separation.
  • Harvest rainwater  Rainwater should be collected for toilet flushing and garden irrigation. Harvesting the rain can be critically important for emergency situations, too.

Source: www.proudgreenbuilding.com


 

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