When it comes to weather, Canada is a country of extremes. Our often harsh and varying climate has a significant impact on infrastructure—from the roads and bridges we drive on to the foundations of the houses we live in, right down to where and how we build those houses. Environmental changes are creating new challenges for how we build and maintain that infrastructure.
Climate change has resulted in more extreme wind, fluctuating temperatures, and changing precipitation patterns which threaten the integrity of Canada’s infrastructure —putting our communities at risk. That is why the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is working with governments and industry to adapt standards and codes to ensure our infrastructure is climate resilient and safe.
Making Infrastructure Climate-Resilient Across Canada
In the past, our climate was fairly predictable, allowing engineers and planners to anticipate the weather that infrastructure would face during its life expectancy. Today’s extreme weather events mean that is no longer possible. SCC is committed to working with stakeholders to develop and implement innovative standardization solutions that ensure building and infrastructure codes across Canada are developed, maintained, and upgraded to improve climate resilience and create stronger communities for Canadians.
We are building on what we have already accomplished through the Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative (NISI) to coordinate the development of a series of standards that take into account the new reality of climate change, not just in Canada’s North, but across the country.
To help adapt public infrastructure to a changing climate, SCC is also:
facilitating the development of climate information standards for the collection and acquisition of weather data and climate information;
working with federal partners, as well as provinces and territories, to prioritize those infrastructure standards that are most in need of being updated or developed; and
supporting the update of existing standards referenced in federal, provincial and territorial regulations and codes, to ensure infrastructure projects across Canada are climate-ready.
By working together to strengthen the climate resilience of infrastructure, we are helping to protect the health and well-being of Canadians, build stronger communities, and support clusters that are key to Canada’s growth and competiveness.