What do the latest heat waves have to do with modern architecture?

COASTAL NORTH SHOPPING CENTER, NORTH MYRTLE BEACH

Thankfully, the latest heat wave that has taken the globe by force seems to be cooling down. For weeks, we were regularly seeing temperatures above 90 degrees in the Upstate of South Carolina, but we are fairly used to that kind of weather in the heat of the summer. It was the temperatures observed in Europe and the Pacific Northwest/New England that caught our attention. The mid-July European heat wave sparked wildfires and even caused tracks in the train-dominant transportation zone to expand, bend, and break–leading to the icing down of tracks in some locations to prevent further damage. Plane runways were even being watered after heat lifted a section of runway in London’s Gatwick airport. 

For years, scientists have warned of the possible impact of rising temperatures resulting from climate change, but what does that have to do with architecture? 

Well, everything.

At COR3, we are working with our clients to design buildings and communities that last…and can withstand dramatic weather conditions. For example, the 80-foot clocktower in the Coastal North development in North Myrtle Beach was built to withstand hurricane force winds. A recent retail project in Greenville, South Carolina, included additional stormwater management technology to prepare for a possible increase in flash floods. And, we are always working with suppliers to understand the changing materials needed to prepare for a warmer world with more natural disasters. Some of these changes appear in the finishes portion of design, through windows with higher grades of UV film protection, for example. We also might recommend additional insulation than we would have in years past. Ultimately, we are always forward thinking, and regardless of what our changing climate will bring, we will be prepared.

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