Meltdown – The race to engineer better buildings for a warming world

Meltdown – The race to engineer better buildings for a warming world

Summers are getting hotter and winters are getting milder. Unpredictable and extreme weather patterns are putting pressure on the built environment and infrastructure. Fitting all homes with air-conditioning units isn’t the answer.

Last winter, the UK’s ability to navigate an energy crisis was tested. The threat of Russia cutting off gas supplies to Europe and a sustained cold snap raised the prospect of rolling blackouts. The winter months ended up being cooler than expected, however. Unseasonably mild winters and unpredictable weather patterns are becoming an all-too common occurrence. 

Hotter summers and milder winters are not only having an environmental and ecological impact, but they can have a negative impact on the broader economy, businesses and productivity. They can also lead to poorer wellbeing and higher mortality rates – research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that climate change adversely affects mental health. 

“Increasingly frequent heatwaves can negatively impact equipment, buildings and personnel, leading to reduced efficiencies, operational failures and even complete shutdowns,” say Dr Laura Kent and Dr Tim Fox, the co-authors of the new IMechE report, Adapting Industry to Withstand Rising Temperatures and Future Heatwaves


Advanced Manufacturing Week

8-12 July 2024

Additive manufacturing, 5G networks, augmented reality and more – a wide range of novel technologies are finally maturing and finding vital applications in the most cutting-edge and productive factories. As manufacturers navigate challenges including supply chain disruption, sustainability demands and economic uncertainty, engineers need expert knowledge of new approaches to efficiency and innovation.