Raconteur

Future of Construction special report 2017

Issue link: https://raconteur.uberflip.com/i/835611

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 14 of 15

Climate change rep- resents one of the greatest challeng- es of our age, with quite small in- creases in aver- age atmospheric temperature carry- ing the potential to infl uence and change weather patterns signifi - cantly at a more local level. In the UK we are positioned in the fi ring line of Atlantic weather sys- tems and the Association of British Insurers has recently warned that, alongside increases in rain storm intensity, we should also prepare ourselves for more damage from de- structive wind storms. Additional risk exists in relation to the impact of heatwaves. Flooding is perhaps the most frequent and familiar to the UK public, though fi nancial im- pact of wind storms can be greater and the death toll is typically high- est from heatwaves. Obviously the ultimate aim should be to slow if not stop the emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gas- es such that these manifestations of climate change are avoided. But equally we need to ensure that our built environment is resilient to these impacts as far as possible. The UK is in the midst of a housing crisis, which lead to the last govern- ment setting a target to build a mil- lion new homes by 2020. Incorpo- rating resilience is easier with new build, particularly on greenfi eld sites where cost and availability of land allows for greater use of land- scape features and unrestricted de- sign to optimise resilience. It is vital that in building these new homes, and supporting infrastructure, they are properly conceived and con- structed with a less stable and pre- dictable climate in mind. Aside from new build, a far big- ger challenge exists in what to do with the vast majority of our exist- ing built environment, developed decades or centuries ago with little or no consideration of resilience against storms and heatwaves. For many who have been fl ooded in recent years, sometimes a number of times, this is an all too present challenge. They often cannot move, insurance, if obtainable, can at best repair but little more, so retrofi tting resilience measures is a sensible, cost-eff ective option. The Chartered In- stitution of Water and Environmen- tal Management (CIWEM) is cur- rently helping to develop awareness, standards and codes of practice to ensure that when property fl ood-resilience measures are put into homes and business prem- ises, this is done to a high standard to help keep water out or speed up the rate at which a building can be reoccupied following a fl ood. With insurers on board, the prospects to deliver real improvements in prop- erty fl ood resilience look positive. Far too many people do not know they're at risk of fl ooding. While most are likely to recognise risk of fl ooding from rivers and the sea, more people are likely to be aff ect- ed by surface water fl ooding that occurs as a direct result of heavy, intense rain storms. We should be building and retrofi tting our towns and cities to handle this fl ash fl ood- ing more eff ectively. While traditionally the approach has been to pipe water away to the nearest river, this can cause prob- lems. Firstly, as with much of the built environment, drainage systems can be decades or even centuries old, and are increasingly overloaded by new development and the increas- ingly intense rainfall. Secondly, by draining quickly into the nearest riv- er, this can increase the risk of fl ood- ing to communities downstream. The answer is to make our drain- age systems better able to store water and let it drain away slowly, eff ectively removing the "fl ash" el- ement from the fl ooding equation. CIWEM has been championing sus- tainable drainage systems, which do this by using a wide range of ap- proaches from green roofs, permea- ble surfaces, ponds or underground tanks to store the water. Designed at an early stage in a de- velopment, they are cost eff ective and can deliver a host of wider ben- efi ts, not least making towns and cities greener and more attractive. We are currently working with gov- ernment to make sure policies and guidance work to mainstream this approach, and we are hopeful of real progress in the near future. ALASTAIR CHISHOLM Head of policy and communications Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management OPINION COLUMN 'It is vital that in building new homes, they are conceived and constructed with a less stable climate in mind' RACONTEUR.NET FUTURE OF CONSTRUCTION 15 13 / 06 / 2017 www.autodesk.co.uk @AutodeskAEC @Autodesk_UK #eraofconnection Call us at: +44 (0)1252 456893 The Future of the Construction Manager The lives of construction managers across the UK are rapidly changing as technology transforms how buildings and infrastructure are designed and built. We call this the Era of Connection. Find out how the trends will affect you in a new video made in conjunction with CIOB, and discover how you can stay ahead of the curve. Watch the video at www.autodesk.co.uk/ campaigns/eoc-video-study Autodesk is a registered trademark of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or a liates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifi cations and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document. © 2017 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved. H aving achieved promi- nence as one of the world's foremost architects of her generation, Dame Zaha Hadid's sudden death last March came as a shock to the world of ar- chitecture and design. As the fi rst woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and the fi rst and only to win the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Ar- chitects, she set the precedent for futuristic, expressive designs, such as the Guangzhou Opera House in China and the London Aquatics Centre in Stratford's Olympic Park. The Antwerp Port House (pictured), which opened last year, was one of the fi rst major projects completed by her fi rm following her passing. Designed to resemble the bow of a ship, the Port House repurposed, renovated and extended a derelict fi re station into a new headquarters for the port. Utku Pekli/Shutterstock Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Raconteur - Future of Construction special report 2017