Warm, Wet, and Wild: Climate Change Vulnerability Analysis Applied to Built Environment

Apr 02, 2012

Main trends for the northern hemisphere towards year 2100 predict a warmer, wetter and wilder climate. Climate vulnerability analysis conducted by SINTEF and The Norwegian Meteorological Institute, show that due to increased amounts of precipitation and a warmer climate, as many as 2.4 million of today’s buildings in Norway will be exposed to a high risk of rot decay in year 2100. Presently, 615 000 buildings are in this exposure category. Other climate parameters like sea level rise, wet winter precipitation, temperature fluctuations around 0C, changes in wind patterns, changes in groundwater level, and decrease of permafrost will add to the increased strain to the built environment. A high percentage of Norwegian buildings are characterized by the use of wood in both substructures and building envelope, and at this already exposed to rot decay risks in humid areas. The built environment faces dramatic consequences if not met with adequate measures.

The paper focuses on estimation of vulnerability towards climate change impacts in the built environment of Norway. A recent climate vulnerability analysis performed by SINTEF Building and Infrastructure and The Norwegian Meteorological Institute offers a method to digitally estimate the number of buildings affected by different climate parameters, today and in the future.

This method is employed in a quantitative climate vulnerability analysis, applied to the Norwegian building stock. A calculation of the number of existing buildings being affected by different climate change parameters in a 2100 scenario is presented, with an in-dept study of rot decay. The paper will increase the knowledge of how climate change presumably will affect the present building stock. The paper forms part of two of the authors’ PhD studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Cecilie Flyen Øyen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Anders-Johan Almås (SINTEF)
Hans Olav Hygen (The Norwegian Meteorological Institute)
Presented at: 
Building Enclosure Science & Technology (BEST3) Conference
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Building Enclosure Technology & Environment Council (National Institute of Building Sciences)

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