Climate change and extreme weather cause catastrophic damage to the Department of Defense’s (DoD) mission critical facilities, potentially interrupting military operations both domestically and abroad. It has been shown that climate change impacts the lifespan of critical infrastructure and that the additional repair and replacement costs that arise from this risk will likely be significant over the coming decades. This project plans to enhance and expand the capabilities of the ESTCP-funded WELDER decision support tool (RC19-5264) to address these natural hazards. WELDER 1.0, which is under the final stages of development, allows DoD users to visualize extreme weather/climate change projections and model the likelihood, severity, and expected building damage caused by these extreme events. This information can then be used to estimate the effects on building and component degradation profiles, adjust repair and/or replacement schedules, re-prioritize maintenance strategies, and inform budgetary decisions. The primary objectives of WELDER 2.0 are to reduce uncertainty around the climate projections, produce more accurate Work Action reports/recommendations in BUILDER, assist users with complex decisions around facility adaptation; record observed natural hazard-related impacts to infrastructure; integrate the tool with the new Enterprise Sustainment Management System (ESMS) platform which BUILDER will reside; and expand outreach activities to existing and prospective users.

Technology Description

The project team plans to enhance WELDER’s capabilities by implementing: techniques to reduce and communicate the uncertainty around the climate projections; a module within BUILDER for collecting damage assessments to record observed natural hazard impacts to infrastructure; improved climate-related damage association algorithms; the integration of WELDER with a new ESMS being developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and an extensive outreach campaign to increase adoption of WELDER.


WELDER 2.0 will provide the capability to: (1) generate more accurate high-resolution, long-term projections of extreme weather and climate for any DoD facility location in the U.S.; (2) collect and catalog observed infrastructure damage to assist with validation of hazard impacts on forecasts of condition degradation and service life estimation algorithms; (3) produce more accurate Work Action recommendations based on climate stressors thus assisting BUILDER users with complicated infrastructure adaptation decisions; and (4) seamlessly integrate with the ESMS.