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As temperatures underground rise, so do risks to commercial buildings

Resiliency

As temperatures underground rise, so do risks to commercial buildings

Underground elements in the built environment can heat the ground between the surface and bedrock by as much as 27 F.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | May 24, 2024
Photo by Kenrick Baksh via Pexels

Photo by Kenrick Baksh via Pexels

Heat created by underground structures is increasing the risk of damage to buildings, recent studies have found.

Basements, train tunnels, sewers, and other underground systems are making the ground around them warmer, which causes soil, sand, clay and silt to shift, settle, contract, and expand, according to an insurance executive quoted in a Business Insurance report. As a result, foundations are suffering damage.

Underground elements in the built environment can heat the ground between the surface and bedrock by as much as 27 F. Building owners should have their buildings inspected regularly and carefully analyze their insurance policies to find out how much coverage is provided for this issue.

The executive warns owners to beware of exclusions, exceptions, and endorsements that might impact their policies.

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