The link between climate change and the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events demands more of a response in order to minimise any potential harm to buildings and their inhabitants, and the environment – true for both preventative and protective measures.
The building industry holds a certain responsibility for the current state of the climate because of its output, and should strive to exceed the minimal standards set by the BCA. Unfortunately, in legislating minimal legal requirements regarding environmental sustainability, minimal action is often taken to reduce our impact on the world. Other bodies have stepped forward to provide more stringent standards for architects, specifiers and builders to follow, providing long-term benefits for all and helping to reverse the self-inflicted degradation of our planet.
Prevention must go hand in hand with protection though, as long as extreme weather events continue to rise in prevalence. They pose a threat not only to existing buildings and those most vulnerable within society, but also to industry, the economy and the environment via the destruction of natural habitats. The BCA does set standards for the protection of inhabitants of a building in extreme weather events, typically via ensuring proper construction and that adequate materials are used. These standards double up in value to decrease the likelihood of a building’s destruction, but can still be proven inadequate in the event of an unprecedented disaster. Correct installation of the highest feasible standard, BCA-compliant materials should be standard practice in order to maximise a building’s ability to withstand such an event and the wellbeing of its occupants.
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