How seriously are we taking the issue of flood risk?
The UK faced its wettest winter on record and flooding may well have cost the nation at least £1.1bn, taking into account insurance claims, uninsured costs and repairs to infrastructure. In addition, there was the lost output due to transport disruption and the forced closure of businesses.
From the perspective of a patchy but occasionally warm British summer this might seem like a past issue, but the likelihood of future flooding (Flood Risk) is increasing.
The problem of flood risk is big and it is not going to go away. This is something that architects in particular need to consider as part of their planning and design.
“Urban flooding has a specific cause, which is lack of drainage,” explains Wayne Langford of Sudstech Technologies. “The conclusion has to be that prevention is better than cure.”
Design Integration: An Immediate Solution to Flood Risk?
“There are calls for a complete ban on building on the floodplain but is this realistic considering Britain’s chronic housing shortage? A better way forward involves improved design integration, whereby architects build flood prevention and resistance into their plans at an early stage. This can then become part of an immediate solution to flood-risk,” continues Wayne.
If architects are to rise to this challenge, what does it involve? Solutions range widely in terms of expense and ambition, from excess water storage zones to raised living areas.
“In terms of cost-effectiveness and versatility, the use of porous materials for drainage is a strong contender for an easily integrated, preventative measure. New innovations can be key in providing both drainage and water conservation as part of any new building design,” concludes Wayne. “Products such as ours can be used in variety of settings, commercial and domestic, including retro-fitting to older buildings”.
Preventing flood risk is a vital issue for architects, developers and builders. Solutions need to be cost effective and easily implemented. Specialist materials can provide a key answer to this urgent problem.