Journal of Environmental Engineering & Ecological Science

Journal of Environmental Engineering &
Ecological Science

ISSN 2050-1323
Original Research

Ensuring adaptation to climate change does not increase health risks from the built environment

Kelvin Walls

Correspondence: Kelvin Walls

Author Affiliations

Director, Building Code Consultants Ltd, P O Box 99-613, Newmarket Auckland, 1149, New Zealand.


Adaptation to climate change is taking place and there is a need to ensure that it escalates unabated to provide support for and mitigate the adverse effects of the present world population. However, the built environment is changing at an exponential rate in all aspects such as complexity, coverage over the earth's surface and in accommodating a burgeoning world population. Natural disasters such as flooding, inundation, drought, hot days and fire continue to occur, some of which may be attributed to or exacerbated by climate change, impact on the built environment. Apart from direct mortality of many people and resulting morbidity affecting many more people, the vulnerabilities of the built environment in providing shelter, warmth, comfort and services to people are exposed and challenged with each successive disaster event. While we strive to improve our processes and implement new technologies to cope and improve quality of life under a climate change regime, we must also be sufficiently circumspect to avoid adverse and unintended consequences, which may include eye diseases from modern artificial lighting, increased radon exposure from air-tight buildings, Legionella infections from air conditioning systems, dengue fever due to increasing numbers of on-site rain water tanks and others.

Keywords: Adaptation to climate change, built environment, inundation, burgeoning world population, unintended consequences, drought, natural disasters, flooding, hot days

ISSN 2050-1323
Volume 5
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