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Building Foundation Solutions – Future Proofing Against Climate Change (NF93)

What are the known and anticipated impacts of climate change on buildings and what are
the implications specifically for the design and construction of their foundations? Foundations also represent a significant component of embodied carbon in construction, how can we minimise this as we approach net zero?  

These were the questions posed to leading experts in this field, RSK. Their report provides an overview of what we currently know, including relevant legislation and policy drivers for change, the key risks to building structures and their foundations from the effects of our changing climate and how to mitigate these risks. It aims to help the sector design and build foundations which are resilient to climate change, supporting housebuilders in three key areas:

• highlighting potential risk factors associated with climate change, how these can impact foundations and how engineers can mitigate these risks

• recognising government policies aimed at promoting an increase in tree/canopy cover within new developments and consequences for foundation design

• understanding the carbon footprint of foundation systems and how these can be reduced.

The range of currently available low carbon foundation solutions is considered along with the interactions between low carbon design and construction solutions and climate change resilience. Case studies are used throughout the document to illustrate the issues and solutions covered. 

Summary of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Background to the climate change emergency
  3. Legislation and policy responses
  4. Effect of weather patterns
  5.  Effects of increased canopy cover
  6. Low carbon foundation solutions
  7. Conclusions and recommendations

    Appendix A Changes to the UK Climate
    Appendix B industry survey
    Appendix C legislation and policy
    Appendix D carbon calculations