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    Climate Change and its Potential Impacts on Construction in Ireland: The Argument for Mitigation and Adaptation

    Smyth, David (2012) Climate Change and its Potential Impacts on Construction in Ireland: The Argument for Mitigation and Adaptation. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    The construction industry makes a significant contribution to Ireland’s physical and economic milieu. It is therefore important to investigate the potential impacts of climate change upon it and formulate mitigation and adaptation strategies. Observed and modelled data were used to evaluate possible effects in the following areas: wind-driven rain; domestic wastewater management, in the context of septic tanks; and to analyse their implications for current and future Building Regulations. Current and projected future wind-driven rain values were calculated. The likely outcomes were found to be greater building deterioration, increased maintenance requirements and a threat to occupant health. The implications of likely increases in precipitation were also examined. Findings indicated that a potentially significant restriction would exist on future construction in areas where septic tank densities were high and where water table levels approached the surface. In the context of both these findings, the Building Regulations were evaluated. For these, and for the general construction environment, it was found that the Regulations were fit for purpose, although the Building Control Regulations and Technical Guidance Documents required modification. It was concluded that decision makers must factor in these implications when considering construction issues. Closer supervision of current buildings will be required to monitor for signs of accelerated degradation under changed climatic conditions. New builds should be constructed using the modifications recommended in this research, and where possible avoid locations highlighted as being likely to experience more severe climatic conditions. The over-riding contemporary concern within the industry however is survival, not climate change. This current primary focus on short term concerns will have to be accommodated within a wider long term perspective on climate change before mitigation and adaptation strategies can be effective. This research brings to the attention of decision makers the urgency of doing this.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Climate Change; Construction in Ireland; Mitigation; Adaptation;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 4388
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2013 13:01

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