Potential Impact of Climate Change on Municipal Buildings in South Africa
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Municipal buildings are an essential component of daily life. Without schools, hospitals and other public buildings, society and economy could not function. Therefore a failure to consider the potential impact of climate change on municipal buildings would be both costly and detrimental to sustainable development. In this paper the authors present research undertaken to ascertain the potential impacts of climate impacts on municipal buildings in South Africa. A two-phase approach was adopted. Firstly the appropriate climate effects on a given building inventory, in a selected location, were determined; then the cost impacts on that building (based on a set of stressor-response functions) were applied. The results of the study predict that the total impact of climate change on buildings in South Africa could vary between USD $42.7 million average annual costs in the median scenario and USD $214.3 million average annual costs in the maximum scenario. The results presented are all incurred costs, which need to be addressed to avoid health and safety issues. However costs would be much higher if the existing stock was augmented without considering climate change impacts. The research provides an understanding of the cost of climate change and how the maintenance and adaptation of the unsustainable buildings may divert resources from sustainable development. The results of the research may also present an opportunity for existing buildings to be retrofitted with alternative, sustainable technologies, which serve to decrease vulnerability to climate change impacts going forward.
Procedia Economics and Finance;
Chinowsky, P., Schweikert, A. and Hayles, C. (2014) 'Potential impact of climate change on municipal buildings in South Africa', Procedia Economics and Finance, 18, pp.456-464.
Article published in Procedia Economics and Finance available open access at https://doi.org/10.1016/S2212-5671(14)00963-0
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