Building Safety is... Global

Solving Challenges Together

Week 5 – May 29 - 31

Foundation Sponsor AGA 2 

Week Sponsored by aci cnt 4cp tag

Week 5 elevates Building Safety Month to a global scale and addresses some of the issues that we face as a global community including extreme weather events and water scarcity.

Global Water Scarcity

Wk5 Global Water Scarcity

Clean water is the world’s most precious commodity, and public health depends on safe and readily available water. The World Health Organization estimates over two billion people live in water-stressed countries, which is expected to worsen in some regions due to a changing climate and population growth. Water conservation and efficiency issues have become crucial conversations amongst building safety professionals in recent years. The building industry looks to increase water efficiency through innovative practices and technologies not just domestically, but worldwide. Here are some examples of countries in water-scarce areas that are innovating:

  • Saudi Arabia boasts the highest production of desalinated water worldwide (removes salt out of water from the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf) and are in the process of converting their desalination plants to solar.
  • Israel is leading the world through their policies, practices and technologies for its water resources and conservation, most notably through reclaiming over 80 percent of its wastewater and stormwater for agricultural operation.
  • Cape Town, South Africa, is incorporating automated domestic water metering installations to set a target water usage for each resident per day, leveraging alternative water sources and is updating their supply network infrastructure.
  • The United Kingdom is cutting water use through water metering, incentives for water-saving technologies, hosepipe bans and investing in updating the country's water supply equipment.
  • The 2000s drought in Australia (also known as the "Millennium drought") compelled a coordinated response on water conservation. Changes were added to the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA) that regulated stricter water flow rates on household appliances, the Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme for products covered by the scope of the PCA (including washing machines and dishwashers) was introduced and using water for irrigating gardens and washing cars was banned.

10 Tips for Conserving Water at Home
Download pdf

Pulse Podcast Episode 49 - Flowing Forward: Solving America's Water Challenges
Visit Website

EPA's WaterSense Program
Visit Website

ICC Water: Standards for a Resilient Future
Watch Video

Water Conservation & Efficiency Toolkit
Visit Website

Building Resiliency Solutions
Around the World

Wk5 International Bldg Res

Communities worldwide are experiencing an increase in disaster events that are significantly impacting their societies, economies and cultures.  Here are a few resiliency success stories that we can all learn from:

  • Copenhagen, Denmark is combatting flooding in one neighborhood by replacing asphalt with innovative tiles that allow rainwater to seep back into groundwater aquifers.
  • After severe earthquakes in 2011 and 2016, New Zealand has incorporated base isolation systems that allow a building's foundation to move horizontally to dissipate seismic forces.
  • The Netherlands have addressed their vulnerability to flooding by creating a "Room for the River" program that creates diversions, restores riverine landscapes and removes silt to combat river floods.
  • Białystok, Poland has built green bus stops designed to withstand intense rainfall, strong winds, drought and heat waves. They feature vegetation on the roof and walls and can retain up to 250 liters of rainfall.
  • Canada's Zibi waterfront city is a 34-acre master-planned community that relies on post-industrial waste energy for heating and the Ottawa River for cooling, and the urban design prevents local flooding.

Pulse Podcast Episode 48 - Building Safety, a Global Mission
Visit Website

Global Building Resilience Guidelines
Visit Website

Global Building Codes Tool
Visit Website

Global ABC: 10 Principles for Effective Action
Download pdf

COP27 Presentation: Addressing Extreme Weather Events in Building Codes
Watch Video

COP27 Presentation: How Alignment Can Help Build Coastal Resiliency
Watch Video

Modern Building Codes Support Sustainability

Wk5 Sustainability Around The World

Globally, buildings and building construction sectors combined are responsible for over one-third of global final energy consumption and nearly 40 percent of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions. Modern building codes are at the core of conversations on increased energy efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Here are a few ways that building codes and sustainability intersect:

  • The European Commission has been aggressive over the past 15 years improving the energy efficiency of new buildings in member countries, and satisfying net-zero emission building code requirements. This has been achieved through a series of building directives that promote policies that help:
    • achieve a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050
    • create a stable environment for investment decisions
    • enable consumers and businesses to make more informed choices to save energy and money
  • Since 2005 the National Construction Code (NCC) in Australia has seen incremental increases in the stringency for greenhouse gas emissions and energy savings in all classes of buildings. These changes have been introduced in accordance with a Trajectory for Low Emission Buildings – the end point of which is net-zero ready buildings.
  • Dubai Municipality issued the second edition of the Al-Sa'fat system in early 2023, which aims to include a set of mandatory requirements for all new buildings to obtain the Silver Sa’fa as an official green building rating system (replacing the existing green building code). The update would help streamline the process of reducing energy, water and material consumption, and enhance design and construction related activities for efficient building operations.
  • As green building councils around the world are increasing focus on embodied carbon in buildings, expect to see a growing need for Environmental Product Declarations for all building products. An EPD is a comprehensive disclosure of a product's environmental impacts based on a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) based on the ISO 14025 standard. Learn more about the ICC-ES EPD program here.
  • The International Code Council and ASHRAE are developing a joint greenhouse gas (GHG) evaluation standard (ASHRAE/ICC Standard 240P) to provide a methodology to quantify and document GHG emissions associated with buildings, building systems and equipment over their life cycle.

Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency
Download pdf

The Central Role of Building Codes in Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
Download pdf

2022 Moving Forward Report
Download pdf

Energy Efficiency and Carbon Reduction
Visit Website

What is Off-Site Construction?
Visit Website

COP27 Presentation: Aligning Clean Energy Goal and Building Codes
Watch Video

The Code Council in Action

Wk5 Code Council In Action

Spread the Word

Wk1 Spread The Word