Paul Kushner

University of Toronto
Project Title: Assessment and adaptation strategies for a changing climate: Future wind loading on buildings in Toronto
Project Partner: Oya Mercan
Industry partnerNCK EngineeringEnvironment and Climate Change Canada
Platform:  Blue Gene/Q

Advanced Manufacturing Cities

Maintaining resiliency of Canada’s built environment against extreme wind hazard is necessary to sustain the prosperity of our communities. Buildings are becoming more complex, lighter and taller making them more prone to wind effects. This is further aggravated by the long-term effects of climate change, and the associated uncertainty of future wind load characteristics. Historical climate data is no longer enough for long-term planning and adaptation in urban environments. The formulation of adaptation strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change in cities will require a collaborative effort that draws on expertise, tools, and approaches from a variety of disciplines.

This project will investigate the response of selected tall, highly flexible structures together with their surroundings in downtown Toronto under the new wind conditions due to climate change. Structures that are currently safe and serviceable under wind loading may experience issues (large accelerations, member failures) when the wind loading characteristics change with the changing climate. The multi-disciplinary project team will capitalize on the availability of large archives of climate model output, new tools of downscaling, and extensive computational resources. This technical expertise and infrastructure will enable the translation of knowledge of global climate change into actionable knowledge useful to practitioners in the area of urban building design. This project will deliver sustainability and resiliency-focused design, as well as retrofit recommendations for practitioners and decision makers with a direct benefit to the residents of Toronto.