UK Floods Minister: property flood resilience is crucial
Government highlight importance of property level flood resilience as a resilient property demonstration home and certification is launched
Report from – Damien Carr
The Resilient House, a Victorian building retrofitted with flood resilience measures, was officially opened on 3 February 2017, at the BRE’s Watford site, by the building science centre and partners, including AXA insurance.
The porotype house demonstrates how practical measures can be installed in a home to prevent flood water entering a property. Simple measures installed in the building include flood-resistant doors and windows; one way valves fitted to the toilets and sinks that prevent flooding via sewers and a kitchen with moveable units.
Different types of water resilient insulation have been used in the house including injected cavity wall insulation, thermal board and PUR spray foam. Other practical issues have also been addressed, such as how to improve floor insulation, where to place electric sockets and home appliances and how to seal off areas where water could enter the property.
BRE Centre for Resilience Director Stephen Garvin said it was still not standard practice for properties in high-risk flooding areas to be made more resilient even after they had been flooded. “The aim of this project is to show contractors and householders in a tangible way that resilient repair isn’t as challenging or difficult as they may think it is,” he said.
Highlighting the government’s £2.5 Bn investment in flood defences, Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey, nevertheless said that property resilience measures “play a crucial role in limiting flood damage” and enabling families and businesses recover more quickly.
“BRE’s house shows how innovations in the construction industry can help people dramatically reduce the financial and emotional impacts of a flood,” she said.
It was a sentiment shared by Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency. “I know the devastating impact that flooding can have and urge people to keep themselves safe and to adapt their homes so that they are able to recover as quickly as possible,” she said.
The Resilience House was funded by the BRE Trust, AXA Insurance, British Damage Management Association, Cunningham Lindsey, Defra, Natural Cement Distribution, and Property Care Association.
Launch of property flood resilience certification scheme
In response to a key recommendation from Defra’s recent Property Resilience Action Plan, BRE Global is launching a new certification scheme for independent property flood resilience surveyors. Certificated surveyors will provide property owners with impartial information about the measures needed to make their homes and businesses more resilient to flooding.
Supported by training from the, BRE Academy and industry partners RICS, certificated surveyors will be able to collect and upload data to a Property Flood Resilience Database recently developed by BRE, AXA and LexisNexis under an Innovate UK programme. This will create a UK-wide industry data source for ‘flood resilient’ properties – supporting insurance applications for ‘at risk’ homes and businesses.