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By : T. Valdbjørn Rasmussen

Buildings play a vital economic and social role in society and are vulnerable to climate change. This paper suggests a strategic approach for existing buildings to withstand climate change. It emphasises the most likely climate impacts, including the change in mean year values as well as the extent of maximum and minimum extremes, which are pointed out and set against a background of national and international agreements. Assumptions that form the basis for the scenarios are outlined and evaluated in a Danish context and similar evaluations can be drawn for other countries. As climate change progresses, the uncertainty of the scenarios leaves major challenges that will grow far more serious, if not addressed and taken into account in building design and into a strategy for the adaptation of existing buildings.
An outline of the actions needed for developing a broad strategic approach to the adaptation to climate change for buildings is given. The actions include four stages: a survey of the performance, the impact of climate change, the vulnerability of the existing building stock and climate adaptation needs. This leads to the identification of a risk-based strategic framework for adaptation to climate change based on the results of a vulnerability analysis. In addition, this paper describes some issues that must be addressed in case a strategic approach is not developed, as the building sector is continuously investing in measures to adapt to climate change. Keywords: Climate Change, Impact, Effects, Strategy, Buildings.

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