Environmental Protection

Canada Investing $40 Million on Shielding Infrastructure Against Extreme Weather Events

The country's National Research Council and Infrastructure Canada are conducting research and also upgrading codes, specifications, guidelines, and assessment tools.

Canada's government announced a $40 million investment is being made on ways to protect buildings and infrastructure against extreme weather events brought on by climate change. The National Research Council of Canada and Infrastructure Canada are conducting research and also upgrading codes, specifications, guidelines, and assessment tools because buildings and infrastructure are being increasingly challenged by the impacts of climate change and more extreme weather events, such as floods and damaging high winds. The new guidelines and specifications will be released in 2020.

During the next five years, the National Research Council will conduct research, evaluations, and risk analyses to develop new solutions to factor climate resilience into the design of future buildings and infrastructure in Canada, including houses, roads, bridges, water systems, and rapid transit networks.

"With climate change, the total annual precipitation is increasing, as well as the frequency and severity of extreme events, such as heat waves, high winds, floods, and droughts, all of which is resulting in increased stress on built structures," said Richard Tremblay, general manager of construction at the research council. "In 2017, it is a necessity to start planning to adapt our buildings and infrastructure to withstand the new loads."

The government's investment is coming from the Investing in Canada plan, which provides more than $180 billion in infrastructure funding over 12 years.

"I see this initiative on climate change adaptation as having the potential to have a profound impact on the Canadian construction industry and on the future of buildings in Canada," said Doug Crawford, who chairs the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes.

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