How to prepare for changes?

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The starting point for adapting to climate change is being prepared for the effects of climate change whilst at the same time mitigating them. Both decision-makers and house owners need to be aware of the changes induced by the warming climate.

© Stig Häglund, Image bank of the Environmental Administration

Flood risk management

The warming climate makes severe weather events more likely, increasing the number of floods and rainstorms in Finland. Controlling urban floods caused by both flooded water systems and rainstorms requires careful land use, planning, and the maintenance of buildings.

The fundamentals of flood risk control near water systems are straightforward: buildings must be constructed far enough from the shore in order to be safe from water. The potential flood areas can be found on flood hazard and flood risk maps.

Land use planning is a one way of affecting future constructions, and the national land use objectives guide land use planners to take flood risks into account. There are regional recommendations on minimum building site levels and guidelines for the control of drainage water.

House owners must also be aware of flood risks, because the changes in humidity and the increased number of floods and rainstorms are particularly challenging for buildings. In addition to flood risk mapping, house owners should monitor the drainage systems of their property. Ground surface and waterways should always lead away from the building. Rain water drainage and foundation humidity control systems must be cleaned and maintained regularly.

Heavier methods for keeping water out include protective dams and temporary flood barriers. Dam security, flood control and flood protection are the responsibility of the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.

Climate change is a challenge for buildings

The warming climate challenges each builder and resident to be prepared for the risks related to climate change.

Adaptation is made easier by developing and using existing property management tools, such as condition surveys. Instructions for the use and maintenance of residential buildings can be supplemented with a risk assessment and a plan for the prevention and mitigation of risks, such as a flood management plan specific to each property.

More information

Environment Counsellor Antti Irjala, The Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 102,

Published 2013-10-28 at 13:55, updated 2016-07-14 at 13:24