Adaptation of a property-based rainwater drainage system to accommodate climate change impacts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Records of observed weather show that rainfall is becoming heavier and more variable.Projections of future climate change suggest that, not only will rainfall become morefrequent and intense, the number of extreme rainfall events will increase overall. Thiswill undoubtedly place significant pressure on the capacity of property-based rainwaterdrainage systems in preventing water ingress to the building and in avoiding localisedflooding. However, at present there remains limited guidance on how climate changeimpacts should be incorporated into the design of these systems. The stark reality isthat if rainfall events change as expected due to climate change, then property-basedrainwater drainage systems that were built in the past, or which are currently beingdesigned, may not have adequate capacity in the future. Adaptive measures aretherefore needed in order to ensure these systems have the flexibility to cope withchanging rainfall patterns and to minimise their vulnerability to extreme rainfall events.This research evaluates the effectiveness of various adaptive measures through theanalysis of the performance of a case study site in Edinburgh using numerical modellingtechniques. First, by using gutter overtopping as an indicator of failure, a systemspecificrainfall intensity threshold is defined, against which future exceedance isassessed within the context of the UK Climate Projections 2009. System under-capacityis found to increase, in most cases, by up to two or three times under varying futureclimate change scenarios. However, appropriate system adaptation measures, such asincreasing gutter depth, increasing pipe diameter, or installing a green roof are found toprovide sufficient additional capacity and system flexibility to either minimise orcompletely avoid system failure. Through only minor system adjustment, plannedadaptation measures are shown to have the potential to enhance the future resilience ofproperty-based rainwater drainage systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of CIB W062 38th International Symposium on Water Supply and Drainage For Buildings
Subtitle of host publication27th-30th August 2012 Edinburgh, Scotland
EditorsK. De Cuyper, L. B. Jack
PublisherCIB: International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction
Pages131-142
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2012
Event38th International Symposium CIB W062 on Water Supply and Drainage for Buildings 2012 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Aug 201230 Aug 2012

Conference

Conference38th International Symposium CIB W062 on Water Supply and Drainage for Buildings 2012
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period27/08/1230/08/12

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  • Cite this

    Kelly, D., & Jack, L. B. (2012). Adaptation of a property-based rainwater drainage system to accommodate climate change impacts. In K. De Cuyper, & L. B. Jack (Eds.), Proceedings of CIB W062 38th International Symposium on Water Supply and Drainage For Buildings : 27th-30th August 2012 Edinburgh, Scotland (pp. 131-142). CIB: International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction.