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NRC says Canada's building codes aren't designed to handle climate change

By HUB SmartCoverage Team on November 14th, 2017

It looks like it's time for renovations in Canada.

According to the country's National Research Council (NRC), climate change has already disrupted many of the long-held assumptions that infrastructure builders have always held about Canadian weather patterns and the effects they might have on buildings, roads, bridges, and wastewater systems.

"Canada's buildings and public infrastructure systems [....] are designed based on historic data assuming a stationary climate, and were not designed to accommodate certain extreme weather events being attributed to climate change," wrote the NRC in a release issued last week. "As such, there is a growing risk of failure of buildings and infrastructure."

The financial repercussions of climate change have already been felt deeply by the federal government. In the past six years, the disaster financial assistance program has spent an average of $240-million more annually on relief than what it was spending in previous decade.

To address the situation, the NRC is proposing a 2020 update to both the national building code and national highways building code. The three-year delay is intentional. During that time, the organization wants a consultant to work closely with the Meteorological Service of Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada to update our current sets of nationwide climate data and to develop information on the expected future impacts of rising global temperatures.

Work is expected to begin on the project by January 2018.

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