New resource for building resilience into infrastructure and housing

A new guide to help local government infrastructure managers choose suitably climate-resilient building materials has been published.

Though aimed primarily at NSW local governments and developers, the guide will have national application as well, according to Institution of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) CEO David Jenkins.

The Climate Resilience Design Guide is intended to assist project managers to select construction materials that will be more durable to the impacts of climate change such as the increased intensity of coastal storms, floods, bushfires, and heatwaves.

Local Government NSW funded the work through a $110,000 grant, and the Northern Beaches Council and Dubbo Regional Council collaborated with IPWEA, university researchers, and consultant engineers to prepare it.

Mr Jenkins said: “The strong relationship that exists between Local Government NSW, Northern Beaches Council and Dubbo Regional Council has resulted in a valuable publication that will benefit asset managers, project managers, and communities throughout Australia.

“With Climate Change already upon us, it is imperative we do everything in our power to prepare for and mitigate the subsequent effects on our community’s infrastructure.” 

Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan congratulated the team for working to develop a guide to help thoughtful decision-making on materials to make public assets more durable to extreme weather events whilst also considering energy and water efficiency.

“This is a great example of how local government can collaborate with academia and the private sector to develop real-world solutions to difficult environmental problems,” Cr Regan said.

Case studies to test the draft guide on real infrastructure asset projects were developed with councils from around NSW. These involved testing alternative approaches to make concrete, bitumen, steel, timber, and plastics more resilient to climate change.