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'Freak' weather set to push up construction costs

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CONSTRUCTION COSTS will be driven up by climate change in the next 30 to 50 years, environment experts predicted this week.

Consultant Environmental Resources Management calculates that between 1% and 5% extra will need to be spent on construction to guard against 'freak events' such as extreme storms, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers.

ERM technical director Anna MacGillivray said up to £15bn would need to be spent on improvement and replacement of structures. She said roads and railways were vulnerable to drought-induced subsidence.

Roads will be liable to cracking and melting as summer temperatures soared in coming decades, she added. Engineers will also have to design improved storm drainage plus structural solutions to subsidence and extreme wind loading in domestic and commercial buildings.

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