Durability and Climate Change—Implications for Service Life Prediction and the Maintainability of Buildings
1.1. Global Climate Change and the Climate Change of Canada
1.2. Climate Change and Impacts on Buildings
1.3. Research Program on Climate Resilient Buildings
2. Climate Resilient Buildings—Durability of Building Envelope Materials and Elements
2.1. Selected Studies on Durability of Building Materials and Climate Change
2.1.1. Concrete Degradation—Carbonation and Corrosion
- Concrete carbonation—increases in CO2 concentration, and changes in temperature and relative humidity (RH), as my arise from a changing climate over the long-term, will accelerate the degradation processes and consequently, cause a decrease in, serviceability and durability and possibly the safety of reinforced concrete (RC) infrastructure. Peng and Stewart , report on an investigation of carbonation-induced degradation of RC under a changing climate for three cities located in China (Kunming, Xiamen and Jinan). A time-dependent analysis was conducted using Monte Carlo simulation, and included the uncertainty of climate projections, deterioration processes, material properties, dimensions and accuracy of the predictive models. Deterioration of RC structures in these cities was represented by the probabilities of initiation and occurrence of damage of reinforcement due to corrosion. It was found that by 2100, the mean depths for carbonation of the RC could increase by up to 45% for RC structures located in these cities due to a changing climate. It was also found that in temperate or cold climate locations in China, climate change can cause an additional 7–20% of carbonation-induced damage of RC buildings by 2100. Such findings permit development of climate adaptation strategies through consideration of improved RC design of structures to ensure their resilience over the long-term.
- Concrete corrosion—Saha and Eckelman , report on investigating the effects on RC structures resulting from corrosion through increases in carbonation and chlorination rates. Different climate emission scenarios and (respectively, IPCC A1FI (high) and B1 (low)) were used together with downscaled temperature projections and code-compliant material specifications to model carbonation and chloride-induced corrosion of RC structures in the Northeast United States. Based on these results, it is expected that current RC construction as a result of climate change, will experience depths of penetration that exceed the current code-recommended cover thickness; in respect to the depth of chlorination, this would occur in 2055 and by 2077 for the depth of carbonation. The projected timeline is well within the expected service life of these buildings, indicating the potential for extensive repairs during the building service life.
2.1.2. Degradation of Wood Products
2.1.3. Corrosion of Metals
2.1.4. Effect of Solar Radiation on Plastics
2.2. Hygrothermal Performance of Building Envelope Systems Affected by Changes in Wind-Driven Rain Loads Arising from Climate Change
2.2.1. Frost Decay of Masonry Materials
2.2.2. Degradation of Wood Frame, Roof and Wall Assemblies
2.3. Summary—Of Building Envelope Materials and Elements
- Carbonation of RC in three Chinese cities (Kunming, Xiamen and Jinan) is predicted to increase by 45% by 2100; based on model results of carbonation and chloride-induced corrosion of RC structures located in the Northeast United States, the depths of chloride penetration of these structures will exceed the current code-recommended cover thickness by 2055, and by 2077, the depth of carbonation.
- In Europe, the future projected atmospheric corrosion of metals (carbon steel and zinc) show that corrosion is governed by the effects of chloride deposition in coastal and near-coastal areas; hence, it is foreseen that in the future, corrosion of exposed metals in Europe will increase in coastal zones and decrease inland; similar results were obtained from an Australian metal corrosion predictor that revealed a moderate decrease in corrosion at inland locations but a substantial increase in coastal locations.
- Europe was mapped for the number of freeze–thaw cycles to which heritage buildings will be subjected in a changing climate; Europe is most likely to remain a temperate climate in the future and as such, freeze–thaw effects related to temperature fluctuations and rainfall on masonry materials are likely to diminish; in the Netherlands, results from simulations show a reduction in the future risk of frost damage by 70%
- Warming and humidification will lead to significantly reduced service life in wooden building components under climate change in Europe; examples of predicted changes were provided for specific sites located in Sweden, Germany, the UK, France and Croatia.
- Norway developed a national climate durability index map for risk to degradation of wood products; in a changing climate, the vulnerability of wood frame structures in Norway will increase, as will the risk of decay of wood structures; likewise
- In Sweden, under projected future WDR loads, the amount of water accumulated in the façade of common wood frame wall constructions was projected to increase in the future; the attics of wood frame homes in Sweden are projected for increases in mould growth potential in the future.
3. Discussion on the Durability of Building Materials as Influenced by Climate Change Effects
3.1. Projected Changes in Key Climate Variables Affecting Durability of Building Materials
3.2. Consideration of Climate Issues as May Affect Durablity and Service Life Estimates
- Reliable estimation of future WDR loads and their spatial distribution: The climate simulations in the GCMs and RCMs are performed at 100–300 km and 25–50 km spatial resolutions, respectively. Climate variables such as wind and rainfall, and their extremes, are not accurately simulated at this spatial resolution as their propagation mechanisms are influenced by local geophysical factors that are not resolved in the GCMs or RCMs. Several studies have used very-high-resolution (sub-4 km) limited-area climate models to simulate these climate variables more accurately [44,45,46,47]; however, such simulations are computationally expensive. There is a need to devise a strategy to obtain reliable long-term estimates of wind and rainfall variables which can facilitate more accurate assessment of building response to the effects of climate change.
- Methods to encompass climate uncertainty: Future climate projections are associated with uncertainty contributed by a wide range of sources such as the choice of GCMs, greenhouse gas emission scenarios, downscaling methods, bias-correction methods . Additionally, climate change impact assessments are performed at time-periods spanning at least 20 years or more. Hygrothermal simulations are computationally expensive and it is impractical to evaluate hygrothermal performance of wall assemblies over time-periods in excess of 20 years, and under a wide array of climate simulations. To reduce the computational costs, it is important to develop methods that can be used to encompass climate-related uncertainty and identify representative climate years/scenarios without compromising on the range of projected changes. Nik , for example, obtained an acceptable range of hygrothermal response when only typical and extreme climate projections were used for performing hygrothermal simulations as opposed to the entire set of future projections available. The concept can also be extended to choose the reference years that represent typical and extreme WDR conditions and only consider those years for hygrothermal simulations.
4. Maintainability of Buildings and Selection of Construction Products for Climate Resilient Design
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|Climate Change Effects||Environmental Agents||Notional Specifications for Selection of Products, Methods of Installation|
|Increase in global warming||Higher temperatures and broader overall range of both annual and diurnal temperature change||Dimensionally stable and compatible products having lower coefficient of thermal expansion thus providing a reduced overall dilation|
(e.g., for: plastic fenestration components directly exposed to solar radiation)
|Products having enhanced elasticity and are resistant to repeated movement cycles|
(e.g., when considering jointing and sealing products)
|Accelerated aging process due to more prolonged periods of higher temperature and from exposure to higher levels of UV-B radiation||Products of proven and heightened resistance to heat aging and UV radiation|
(i.e., for products directly exposed to solar radiating and exterior environment, e.g.,: roofing, and cladding products, IG units; plastic fenestration components; polymer-based waterproofing and sheathing membranes; jointing and sealing products, paints and coatings for cladding and similar exposed components)
|Increase in wind-driven rain loads||Environmental conditions within window and door frame and in installation openings having higher average humidity conditions together with increased incidence of liquid moisture in more prolonged contact with fenestration products||Select the more robust design approaches that enhance drainage of water from surfaces and minimise the likelihood of retention of water in interstitial spaces (e.g., for: wall assemblies and for window design and installation)|
|Dimensionally stable products when wetted and having enhanced resistance to hydrolysis (i.e., degradation from contact with warm liquid water)|
(e.g., for: insulation products used to ensure continuity of thermal resistance at wall-window and door interfaces; polymer-based waterproofing and sheathing membranes; jointing and sealing products)
|Metal product components having enhanced resistance to corrosion after being wetted (e.g., roof, cladding, window frame, window ties, brick ties products)|
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Lacasse, M.A.; Gaur, A.; Moore, T.V. Durability and Climate Change—Implications for Service Life Prediction and the Maintainability of Buildings. Buildings 2020, 10, 53. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10030053
Lacasse MA, Gaur A, Moore TV. Durability and Climate Change—Implications for Service Life Prediction and the Maintainability of Buildings. Buildings. 2020; 10(3):53. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10030053Chicago/Turabian Style
Lacasse, Michael A., Abhishek Gaur, and Travis V. Moore. 2020. "Durability and Climate Change—Implications for Service Life Prediction and the Maintainability of Buildings" Buildings 10, no. 3: 53. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10030053