A resource aimed at improving the resilience of the built environment has been released by the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Heating (AIRAH).
The 2021 IPCC climate change report made it clear that Australia will be exposed to even more heatwaves, cold snaps and floods, according to AIRAH CEO, Tony Gleeson.
“A cornerstone of AIRAH’s advocacy is HVACR resilience. As a critical enabler, the HVACR industry has both direct and indirect roles to play in safeguarding Australia’s built environment and its occupants,” he said.
“The AIRAH Resilience Checklist is designed to offer guidance about improving resilience for buildings, particularly in an environment where there is greater likelihood for them to be impacted by extreme-weather events.”
Developed by the AIRAH Resilience Special Technical Group (STG), the checklist was produced through research and industry consultation. The aim was to encourage a greater focus on resilience in the built environment.
The leader of AIRAH’s Resilience STG, Liza Taylor, said the guide discusses technical concepts involved in improving the resilience of buildings and their HVAC systems.
“The AIRAH Resilience Checklist is designed as a self-assessment tool for both new and existing buildings. The objective is to enable key decision-makers, influencers and stakeholders to make informed choices when selecting, installing, operating or maintaining HVACR assets,” Taylor said.
To this end, the AIRAH Resilience Checklist includes an eight-step process for developing a resilience action plan. The steps cover defining a resilience strategy, understanding the future climate, and understanding key risks to buildings. Other steps relate to how to design, engineer, install and manage for resilience.
The checklist also explores the concept of Build Back Better.
This new approach to resilience focuses on implementing positive social change and improving community capacity by viewing resilience not merely as an outcome but also as a process in itself.
Rather than merely coping with or responding to potential extreme events or changing environments, resilience is viewed as continuous learning and growth.
“The fact is, there are myriad tangible benefits to constructing resilient buildings,” Taylor said.
Just last week the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) released a report which called for more action by federal and state governments to support increased resilience including changes to the National Construction Code (NCC).
ICA CEO, Andrew Hall, said Australia needs stronger building codes and improved land-use planning.
To access the AIRAH Resilience Checklist, go to www.airah.org.au/Content_Files/Resources/2021_AIRAH_Resilience_Checklist.pdf.