Canada seeks updated climate change predictions for new building codes


OTTAWA — The National Research Council says Canada’s homes and highways were built with assumptions about weather patterns that are no longer relevant, thanks to climate change.

The NRC issued a tender last week looking for a consultant to update weather data for 660 locations across the country — part of an effort to update the national building code so roads and structures can better withstand the consequences of a warmer planet.

It is part of a $40-million, five-year climate-resilient buildings project outlined in this year’s federal budget.

The council wants its would-be consultant to develop new climate data information on everything from seasonal temperatures to snow and rainfall amounts, wind pressure and permafrost coverings.

In the North, melting permafrost and coastal erosion from rising sea levels are already big challenges; further south, heavier snowfall, more frequent and windier storms and unusual precipitation patterns are creating new problems for buildings, roads and bridges.

The new data will be then used for a 2020 update to the national building code and the national highways building code, which are not laws but serve as models for provinces and municipalities.

The Canadian Press