As the climate changes, architects and engineers need to design buildings differently

In the past seven years, four major disasters have caused serious disruptions in the Northeast and Midwest United States. Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York City in 2012, inflicting nearly US$11 billion in damage to buildings. In 2014, a storm dubbed Snowvember dropped more than seven feet of snow in western New York. Three years later, historic flooding along Lake Ontario inundated numerous homes and businesses. And severe storms in the Susquehanna River watershed in 2018 caused more than $1 billion in damage. As Earth's climate changes, the frequency, intensity and duration of these extreme weather events is expected to increase. At the University at Buffalo, I lead a laboratory that studies climate change and buildings. Our research shows that the U.S. building stock may not be prepared for future climate-related storms and flooding.

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