“What are the consequences of large-scale investment in outdated infrastructure technologies?”
Institutions are constantly faced with difficult infrastructure decisions. Should they invest in experimental technologies such as renewable energy and distributed battery systems or opt for more traditional oil pipelines? Well, whatever approach is taken, the infrastructure and supply chain created will exist for multiple generations to come and will create heavy inertia to shift. A fine illustration of this is the difficulty of shifting the United States to mass transit due to its car and road dependent paradigm. This Infrastructure Lock-in must be dealt with when making policy decisions.
“How can we analyze the probability of a risk factor breaking out?”
Risk is one of the most important components in infrastructure projects, whether it be related to the structural integrity of a bridge or the temperature levels of a nuclear power plant. If something goes wrong, it could end up costing billions of dollars. So how can we analyze and quantify the release of such events. Well, we can perform something called a Release Assessment, which integrates every possible factor that could lead to failure.
Why Building Codes Should Include Resilience and Adaptation Criteria
“Why should there be more focus on resilience and adaptation in building codes?”
The building sector in the industrialized world has become a very standardized process, with many codes stipulating what needs to be accomplished. However, with the advent of climate change and the accompanying increase in frequency of natural disasters, there needs to be more focus on ensuring that new buildings are ready for such phenomena. This can be accomplished by incorporating them into building codes, so developers will be certain to consider them. This is Why Building Codes Should Include Resilience and Adaptation Criteria.
Why Groundwater Needs to be Constantly Monitored
“Why do we need to constantly monitor groundwater?”
Groundwater is used worldwide for drinking and irrigation water. However, if levels become too low or the water becomes too toxic, then there could be disastrous consequences on a community’s health, as in the current ongoing case in Chennai, India. This is Why Groundwater Needs to be Constantly Monitored.
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Sea Level Rise Resilience
“Why do we need to protect against sea level rise?”
As the climate changes, sea levels will also rise. This will cause great devastation to coastal communities that were not designed with such high levels in mind. To solve this, institutions, municipalities must implement Sea Level Rise Resilience through walled barriers or managed retreat. Although the upfront cost may seem like a large investment, it will protect against much costlier long-term consequences.
Cross Laminated Timber
“How can we make buildings quicker, more sustainably, and more resilient to fire?”
The built environment is going through a crisis. Not enough housing is being developed, the cement used in construction emits a voluminous amount of embodied carbon, and they are prone to destruction by fire. So how can we use our engineering mindset to solve this? Well, what if we were to take many thin wood planks, glue them together to make a series of squares, and then attach these squares perpendicular to each other with adhesives? Not only is this material extra durable, but is also tough against fires and feaster to build in comparison with cement. The added efficiencies add by Cross Laminated Timber can help with societal decarbonization and fixing the housing crisis.
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Rail Freight Transportation
“How is cargo moved by rail?”
Most cargo is traded by sea. However, many communities live inland and far away from any port. So how do they receive cargo? Well, quite simply, their items are loaded onto a train and moved around via Rail Freight Transportation. Rail freight transport can be extremely cost effective, costing only 2.5 US cents to move one ton a kilometer.
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