CTA Session #2: Incorporating Climate Science into Design and Construction
The world’s changing climate represents a serious challenge for civil engineers. The infrastructure systems we design, build, and operate face more frequent extreme weather events and climate stressors (temperature, wind, and hydrologic conditions) that differ from those experienced in the past. The changing climate also impacts personal safety from weather-related disasters, jeopardizes food and water supplies, damages ecosystems, and adversely affects our quality of life. Recognizing the significance of climate change on our infrastructure on society at large inspired the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to develop its first Sustainability Roadmap and to initiate a Call to Action to prepare its members to take a leadership role in responding to the demands of a changing climate. The Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate (CACC) recently published a report identifying the primary manifestations of climate change on critical infrastructure and providing a framework to prioritize climate change adaptation efforts. To assist with responding to the changes in exposure to extreme weather events, both CACC and the Infrastructure Resilience Division (IRD) have developed Manuals of Practice on Climate Resilient Infrastructure: Adaptive Design (140) and Hazard-Resilient Infrastructure: Analysis and Design (144) and are in the process of developing further interim document(s) or guide(s) to assist practicing engineers. This session will discuss the latest in climate science that can be applied to these issues as well as associated research gaps that exist as changes in design codes and standards are developed.
After this session attendees will:
- Be able to identify the most likely changes in extreme weather and climate events, and the adherent responses of the built and natural environment.
- Be familiar with recent ASCE Design Standards and Manuals of Practice that can inform engineering design in meeting the challenges of a volatile climate.
- Recognize the different vulnerability assessment frameworks that have been developed to prioritize asset adaptation.
- Understand some of the recent advances in climate science that will further support decision-making under uncertainty.