Service life planning calls for characterisation and classification of the exposure environment for theconstructed asset(s) in question. Lack of knowledge of environmental exposure data and modelsamong the building sector players is an important barrier for further progress towards service lifeprediction. The ever more evident climate change highlights even more the need for data and modelson the exposure, when it comes to address its impact on the built environment.In general, requirements for establishing and implementing systems for quantitative characterisationand classification of durability of materials and components are: 1) well defined, and relatively simpledamage functions for the materials in question, 2) availability of environmental exposure data/loads,including methods and models for assessing their geographical distribution, and 3) user friendly ITsystems for storage, processing and modelling the environmental loads onto structures.Service life functions related to environmental degradation are today available for a range of buildingmaterials and components. As for availability of environmental data and models, as well as proper ITsystems, it is shown that for most European countries, such data and models are available frommeteorological offices and the environmental research area, and that these data and the workperformed are directly applicable for service life planning and life cycle management of constructedassets. A short review of some of the most applicable models for environmental exposure and fordegradation and damage of building materials and structures is included.
The global climate system is likely to undergo changes, regardless of the implementation of abatementpolicies under the Kyoto Protocol or other regimes. Both the functionality of the existing builtenvironment and the design of future buildings are likely to be altered by climate change impacts, andthe expected implications of these new conditions are now investigated.
The data and models are often directly exhibited in computer-based systems, often on GIS basedplatforms. With the rapid development of IFC based standards for digital object oriented models ofbuilding products there is a huge need for property sets, such as durability and service life data, linkeddirectly to the building elements. The significant drive within the AEC/IFC community to provide forrelevant location based data (GIS) via IFC format will be a major facilitator for access to site specificdurability data, described by degradation models containing environmental (and other) degradationfactors.