Date: 08 Jun 2011

The Role of Codes, Standards, and Related Instruments in Facilitating Adaptation to Climate Change

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Society has developed numerous mechanisms for mitigating risks associated with the potential failure or underperformance of built infrastructure. An important subset are the codes, standards, and related instruments (CSRI) that establish tenets of reasonable practice with respect to the planning, engineering, construction, and management of built infrastructure. After introducing CSRI as fundamental risk management tools for society, this chapter identifies some of the ways in which climate change could begin to undermine these same critical functions of CSRI in the future. It investigates how CSRI and the processes involved in their development must change in order to properly account for climate change, and thereby allow CSRI to play a proactive role in facilitating adaptation on the part of planners, engineers, builders, and managers of built infrastructure. The chapter concludes by offering a number of recommendations for future work in the area of climate change and CSRI. Canada is the region of focus for this chapter, but the issues discussed are relevant for developed nations generally, since all developed nations rely upon CSRI to help set levels of safety and performance in relation to built infrastructure.