5 THINGS designers can do to create resilient buildings in the new climate reality By Michelle Xuereb 1. Know the local risks In 2011, The City of Torontoâ€™s Future Weather and Climate Driver Study was commissioned. The forecast for 2050? Hotter days, more of them, more of them for extended periods, and more rainfall in single storm events. Extreme weather events in Toronto have historically happened in tandem with power outages.
2. Understand the goals and key concepts The main risk to building occupants in the past was fire, and as such existing building codes prioritize the goal of maintaining life safety systems for long enough to evacuate (a couple of hours). How would design change if the goal was â€œsheltering in placeâ€?? For people to shelter in place, the building must maintain critical system functions and maintain liveable temperatures without power, heat and water for at least 72 hours. These key concepts are passive survivability and thermal resilience, respectively.
3. Prioritize passive design solutions Imagine unplugging your building: how can we design it to perform? Highly insulated walls with minimal thermal bridging will maintain more consistent temperatures. Orientation, window area, and properly designed wall assemblies control solar losses and gains. Strategically located projections and planting will passively protect. Keep key infrastructure dry to minimize service interruptions.
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