CBC: ‘A new focus for us’: Canada’s building code being modernized to address climate change Social Sharing

The update is being done this year, and ‘the major action will come in 2025,’ says National Research Council

The Canadian Press · Posted: Jan 01, 2020 2:48 PM ET | Last Updated: 5 hours ago

A man stands on a residential street surrounded by floodwaters in the town of Rigaud, Que., west of Montreal on April 21, 2019. The new code will upgrade building requirements for wind resistance and how buildings bear snow loads. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

When storm winds howl and rivers flood, buildings take the brunt.

And as climate change makes all kinds of extreme weather more frequent and more destructive, scientists at the National Research Council are trying to figure out how to ensure Canada’s built environment is ready.

“We’re going to see change in the way we’re designing new buildings to help prevent the spread of wildfire, prevent the damage from flooding,” said Marianne Armstrong, who manages the council’s research effort.

“We want to create a culture of thinking about resiliency.”

The council is coming to the end of a five-year research program that has considered how changing weather and the new norms it brings will affect stresses on buildings, roads, wastewater, transit, bridges and other infrastructure.

More than 100 researchers have been working on the project, which has had a budget of $42.5 million. They include materials experts, ocean scientists and aerospace and transport engineers

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