Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thawing permafrost sinks buildings, hikes costs in North Canada

In the Arctic, the ground is melting beneath northerners’ feet.

This brings a new and costly infrastructure challenge to a region where building is already tricky.

Many buildings need to be renovated because they’re sinking. New buildings struggle to last in an uncertain future.

Sara Brown, director of community operational support with the Northwest Territories Association of Communities, says the costs to upgrade and fix buildings in Canada’s North could range from $250 million to $420 million.

“This doesn't just affect community infrastructure. It affects residents’ homes and the amenities they enjoy as well. So the better informed we all are about this, the better we'll be able to deal with it in a proactive way as opposed to reactive way,” said Brown. more