UK must future proof against flood with more resilient homes

The UK needs to build more flood-resilient homes. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has called for innovation in house design along with changes in regulation to ensure newbuild properties and existing homes are safe from flooding and future proofed against unexpected events.

RIBA published a report entitled The Value of Flood Resilient Architecture and Design, demanding that the Government act to create homes and communities free of flood risk.

Its report stated that one in six UK homes are at risk of flooding, a figure expected to double by 2050. Meanwhile, flooding causes £1.4 billion of damage to households and businesses in the UK every year on average.

New approach needed

According to RIBA, simply keeping water out is no longer the best approach on managing flood risk. Instead it calls on the Government to enable communities to manage the risks they face by “better equipping people and businesses to live with water; being able to stop water entering their properties and speeding recovery if it does”.

The report says flood-resilient homes and buildings should be the aim, recommending that the Government:

  • Develops a new approach in regulation and decision-making
  • Encourages innovation in flood resilience in housing and urban design
  • Introduces specific building regulations for flood resilience and resistance
  • Embeds flood resilient design to future proof new developments

Number of homes at risk expected to double

RIBA president Ben Derbyshire said: “In the next 30 years, the number of homes at risk of flooding is expected to double. Now is the time to adapt and think creatively about how to tackle this threat.

“The RIBA urges the Government to step up and encourage the collaboration and innovation needed to create new homes and communities that are resilient to the devastating effects of flooding.”

Picture courtesy of RIBA.

Post Author: Frances Traynor