The building industry is not immune to climate change, with many already suffering from record-low rainfall and flooding events.
But this is not necessarily because they are less resilient, according to a report released by the National Building and Construction Trades Council (NBCTC).
It found that building and infrastructure companies face a higher risk of catastrophic failure than others.
“We need a building industry that is resilient to climate impacts, but not that resilient to extreme weather events,” chief executive John Koutsantonis said.
“The building industry will take some steps forward to improve resilience, but it is not a panacea.”
The report said that the industry needs to do more to manage risk, including building less costly buildings.
The industry has been criticised in the past for not making buildings more resilient to natural disasters.
Building codes in the United States and Australia do not require that new buildings have watertight walls or a high-water mark, and there has been little progress in Australia on building more watertight buildings.
But it is the first time the industry has spoken out about climate change and the risks it poses.
The report found that the Australian Building and Materials Association has already set out an outline for the industry to consider to address climate change risks.
It said it was time for building to focus on building in areas that were least impacted by climate change.
The Australian Building & Materials Association said that building should be more resilient in the face of natural disasters and the potential for extreme weather.
“Our members and industry have long been focused on building resilient, resilient buildings,” Mr Koutsontantonis told ABC News Breakfast.
“It is time for them to focus more on the fact that these risks are happening and to prepare for them.”
He said the building industry would need to consider the impact of climate change on its operations, particularly if it is located in an urban or remote location.
“Building will continue to face challenges in the future, but we need to be able to prepare,” he said.
Mr Koutantonis also highlighted the need to find a way to mitigate the risks that climate change can bring.
He said there was still a long way to go in building a resilient and resilient world.
“There is still a lot of work to do, but that’s the nature of this industry and it is one that is going to take a long time to complete,” he told ABC Radio National.
“So it is up to the industry and governments to take some actions now, and in particular in areas where climate change is a big issue.”
The Australian Institute of Building and Infrastructure (AIBI) said building is facing the same risks as any other industry.
“In many ways, building is not different to any other activity,” AIBI chief executive Rob Ritchie said.
“[It] involves all of the same components, including the energy-use, materials and infrastructure that all of us rely on.”
Mr Ritchie also highlighted that there are many different ways to design buildings and said it could be challenging to identify where buildings can improve.
“To a certain extent it is a trade-off, and that’s why building design is so important, because you have to find ways of dealing with the risks of building and the effects of building,” he explained.
The National Building Trades Union (NBTTU) said that despite the fact building is more resilient than other industries, there was more work to be done.
“Structural engineers will need to work with governments and other stakeholders to identify areas that are particularly vulnerable to climate changes, and this is where building may be the best place to start,” said NBTTU general secretary Chris Brown.
Building in Australia is not only a workplace, but also a place where families, communities and businesses live and work.
The government has announced that its National Building Strategy is expected to introduce measures to improve building resilience in the 2020s.
Mr Brown said that a key step in building resilience is to work more closely with the building trade union and other industry stakeholders to develop new ways of building to better meet the needs of the future.