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BRE Group Researcher Website
Last edited 04 Oct 2016

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 is being refurbished to demonstrate resistance to flood water, and resilience if water gets into the property. It will include flood resistant doors and windows, a resilient kitchen, and water resistant wall and floor membranes that channel water towards drains and sumps.

Different types of water resistant insulation will be used, and resilient surfaces such as robust boards and cement tanking will be demonstrated. It will also feature toilet and sink non-return valves and will address where to place electrical systems and home appliances.

The home will then be tested by flooding it and monitoring how quickly it becomes functional again and how much damage there is.

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.”

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 Group

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