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Last edited 03 Feb 2017

Flood resilient house

BRE (The Building Research Establishment) is an independent, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, operating in the built environment and associated industries.

On 29 September 2016, BRE announced a new project to demonstrate how innovation in design, building, materials and products could help limit the damage to homes from flooding and improve recovery times. Ref BRE to showcase new flood resilient home.

The project, funded by the BRE Trust and AXA insurance follows recent flooding in the UK that resulted in repair costs of £30k to £100k per dwelling. The aim is to raise awareness amongst contractors and householders of the most effective ways of repairing and refurbishing houses that have been flooded and may be at risk of being flooded again.

A housing unit within the BRE Victorian Terrace demonstration project has been refurbished to demonstrate resistance to flood water, and resilience if water gets into the property. It includes:

  • Flood resistant doors and windows.
  • A resilient kitchen.
  • Water resistant wall and floor membranes that channel water towards drains and sumps.
  • An automatic sump pump.
  • Different types of water resistant insulation, including injected cavity wall insulation, thermal board and PUR spray foam.
  • Resilient surfaces such as robust boards and cement tanking.
  • Toilet and sink non-return valves.
  • Careful positioning of electrical systems and home appliances.

Stephen Garvin, Director of the BRE Centre for Resilience, said, “There are an estimated 5.2 million homes considered at risk from surface, river and coastal flooding. Preventative measures play a key role but given the scale of our vulnerability, we need to think more practically about flooding and start to adapt to ‘living with water’. So fitting a house with resilient technologies and testing its ability to bounce back from water ingress is the first step on this journey.”

“It is not yet normal practice for properties in areas at high flood risk to be made more resilient following a flood. 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.”

Amanda Blanc, CEO UK & Ireland, General Insurance said, “As the country faces the prospect of more severe weather striking more often, government, insurers and society need to work together to ensure that our homes and businesses are protected against the worst effects of flooding. Flood defences and the right insurance cover are vital elements of that but increasingly, the use of resilient repairs is a key tool that we can use to reduce the impact of flooding."

BRE has also introduced a certification scheme and training courses for property flood resilience surveyors.

The house was formally launched in January 2017.

Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “BRE’s house shows how innovations in the construction industry can help people dramatically reduce the financial and emotional impacts of a flood. We are investing a record £2.5 billion to better protect 300,000 properties from floods by 2021. But, if the worst happens, property resilience measures play a crucial role in limiting flood damage, so home and business owners can get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”

--BRE Group

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