Climate changes effect construction industry
In terms of future change, we have known for a while that we can expect more extreme weather, which means more periods with high water levels, and longer and more extreme spells of both heat and cold. Changes in water levels have been discussed for many years, probably because they have big direct effects on societal functions and entail large direct costs. More frequent hot periods have been shown to affect human health, with more deaths and more people admitted to hospital.
An altered urban environment in the form of very high buildings or dense development risks affecting the temperature in the city even more.
As we are now making such major structural alterations to our urban areas, we have a fantastic opportunity, through well-thought-out urban planning, to take account of the effect of development on the local climate, the effect of the future climate, and ways to ensure that noise and air quality are not made worse.
A warmer climate will also require the construction industry to take these new findings on board, as this is likely to affect the scale of future cooling/heating needs, and hence how buildings are designed.
The future spread of electric cars will also bring changed assumptions. NOx emissions from road vehicles will be much lower and, in the best case, drop to zero, but no equivalent reduction in particle levels is being forecast at this time. In Gothenburg, for example, 70 percent of the particles in the atmosphere are estimated to come from tyre wear on the road surface, whipped up into the air.