Designing for extreme weather impacts on buildings

    Jensen, Christopher
    Petruzzi, Roberto
    2022 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers


In line with climate projections, extreme weather events have increased in Australian cities both in number and severity. Such events include heavy rainfall along the east coast, cyclone events along the north-west coastline and in far north Queensland, bushfires in the southeast and heatwaves across the continent. Current scientific modelling provides medium to high confidence that the effects of climate change will exacerbate these events even further. Much of the impact of these events is on private dwellings, in many cases in coastal, rural, or remote regions. Contemporary residential built environmental sustainability design in Australia commonly employs mitigation strategies seeking to reduce the potential impacts of long-term climate change, with regular reference to predictions of increased temperatures and sea level rise. However, extreme weather events are occurring now, and regulations and voluntary rating tools should be proactively addressing these critical issues. Despite extensive work on preparedness for extreme weather by researchers and Governments, practical design guidance is minimal with adaptation strategies relying on generic regulations and standards creating challenges for providing appropriate, cost-effective solutions specific to each different project location. This research reviews the regulatory and voluntary mechanisms currently in place in Australia that address extreme weather and highlights the gaps in design guidance and site-specific adaptation strategies to reduce impact of extreme weather on Australian houses

Keywords: Extreme Weather; Climate Change; Building Design; Mitigation; Adaptation.


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