Builders Need To Beware Of The Massive Cost Of Not Adapting to Climate Change.

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Mass Timber Buildings Can Handle Extreme Wet Weather Better Than OSB

September 10, 2019 by Steve Conboy

I woke up today to 3 e-mails from a NYC PR Group sending me Bloomberg articles telling me I need to blog about builders risk. This PR guy was saying if they do not adopt to new resilient things you have been taking about since Super Storm Sunday. Bloomberg, this is about the vision needed and being implemented globally to invest in and attack the ravages of climate change.

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In a new report, the 34-member group, led by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva, concluded that $1.8 trillion in investment by 2030 concentrated in five categories—weather warning systems, infrastructure, dry-land farming, mangrove protection and water management—would yield $7.1 trillion in benefits. Meanwhile, initiatives such as providing small farms with drought-resistant seeds have already increased yields in vulnerable nations like Zimbabwe. And in urban centers such as London, climate-friendly infrastructure has led to enormous economic growth. The primary job of London’s Thames Barrier is to protect 1.3 million people from flooding, the report noted. Without its construction, flood risk would have prevented investments that allowed Canary Wharf to flourish.

“Governments and businesses need to radically rethink how they make decisions,” Ban Ki-moon said at a press conference Monday. “We need a revolution in understanding, planning and financing that makes climate risk visible.”

“Investment is required in adaptation, given that climate change is on us,” Wikramanayake said. “What we’re keen to do is now use that awareness-building to move on to the next step, which is developing solutions to address the challenges.”

"Ginning up projects and financing with official institutions is a crucial goal over the next year", she said, adding that “then we can catalyze greater private investment.”

*The new report is meant to bring urgency to incorporating climate risk into virtually everything governments and companies do.

To Our E360 Readers, September 10, 2019 In recent months we have brought you incisive coverage that has ranged from the profound changes that are occurring in the Arctic as the climate warms, to how the fires now raging in the Amazon are transforming the world’s largest rainforest, to how federal aid has encouraged U.S. beach resort homeowners to keep rebuilding in harm’s way. It’s the kind of top-quality journalism that you have come to expect from Yale Environment 360.

Extreme Wet Weather Around The USA In 2018 Has Created New Builder Risk

OSB Sub Floor sheeting supports more than people walking on it and the lightweight concrete that gets poured over it to cover the sins of extreme wetting. The 23/32 OSB supports floors diaphragm design values that support the vertical design sheer values that support buildings in seismic events and high wind loads.

Wondering why OSB Continues To Outpace Plywood?

The ever-increasing market share of oriented strand board (OSB) versus plywood is perhaps the biggest success story in the entire history of engineered wood. Making plywood requires hacking down big-diameter trees from old-growth forests, while OSB is made from small-diameter trees that can be sustainably farmed. Conboy talks: thinking we can find enough old growth to go back to more plywood is not an option there would never be enough old growth to go back to more plywood. We have to look at ways to use the juvenile lumber coming out of sustainable farms, the old growth is only on private land sold in auctions. Being that OSB is nothing more then particle board we have to consider what can happen when 5 story stick framed buildings are exposed to long framing schedules and extremely wet weather differently. OSB on roofs and walls has less risk to the negative impacts of saturation. All vertical lumber has less risk of extreme saturation like we can see even in solid framing members stored outdoors unwrapped. The Green Doug Fir lumber used on the western rim can not be wrapped and in horizontal storage, exposed to extreme wet weather. They are exposed to rot and mold and both create strength reduction. OSB floors are the biggest builder threat today because many manufacturers exclude acts of God and Rain from their warranty. The type of water falling we are seeing in 5 story stick framed buildings not only guarantees mold but the rot and engineering loss, both attacking the engineering design values on floor diaphragms and lateral strength that create new builder risk from construction defect claims.

M-Fire's President has lead the Resilient Building Movement around the USA since Super Storm Sandy. Today he is trying to help national builders against the kind of problems PGE has recently faced. M-Fire's new tested Gator Skin will defend OSB floors from extreme wet weather conditions and solid DF lumber and is delivered wrapped at 19% or less defending wood fiber from rot.

M-Fire's founder is a big supporter of the Mass Timber Movement if they support lowering risk of fire during construction. These buildings use juvenile reforested lumber that defends our great builders from radical wet weather conditions. Conboy’s opinion after 45 years of being involved in wood framed buildings predicts mass timber to eventually become the norm for high density buildings once the insurance industry lowers risk premiums. There are multiple reasons for my opinion. The labor shortage, extreme wet weather and the fact that these buildings can eliminate the need for EWP and OSB none of which handle moisture well and how they are built out of juvenile lumber is what supports my opinion.

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