The UK floods of December 2013 – January 2014 highlighted the country’s inherent vulnerability to flooding and its limited capacity for adaptation to this threat. With an increasing number of properties at risk of flooding, we urgently need to assess the resilience of buildings and consider the consequences and benefits of adaptation. Although efforts are underway to reduce the exposure of at-risk communities, there’s a disjoint between large scale adaptation / alleviation strategies and property-level adaptation. Without a detailed understanding of individual properties, flood risk thresholds and tipping points, decision-makers at both national and local levels remain unaware of the potential adaptation capacity of communities. The Retrofitting Resilience study and framework address this knowledge gap and can be used to evaluate both the current and future flood resilience of a community.
- The framework has been applied and tested on the village of Yalding in Kent. This village is one such location that endures repetitive and escalating impacts from flooding and as a result will be used as the pilot study area for this research. This study will explore how Yalding can be retrofitted and spatially adapted to be flood resilient to both current and future climate conditions whilst also achieving high quality place-making.
- Data on the spatial conditions and consequences of 2013/14 flood was recorded using surveys, interviews, community engagement workshops, and visualised using 3D digital models, and GIS mapping.
- Information on the property setup such as; house type, construction material, flood hazard, resistance and resilience measures and the resulting consequences was combined with millimetre accurate threshold data to create a sophisticated model to assess the past, present and future flood resilience of Yalding under current and adapted spatial configurations.
This research has been a multi-disciplinary endeavour, conducted at the University of Cambridge in collaboration with the residents of Yalding, the Environment Agency, architects, engineers, and with the support of the Cabinet Office.
Other related research from 'The Environmental Design Studio' [TEDS]:
Founder & Director
The Environmental Design Studio Ltd.
Ed Barsley is a specialist in environmental design in Architecture with a particular interest on developing strategies to reduce flood risk and increase resilience in the built environment. He has lived and worked in Copenhagen, Shanghai, and Colombo as well as throughout the UK. Ed received his undergraduate degree in Architecture at the University of Sheffield and a Masters in Environmental Design in Architecture at the University of Cambridge.
To share the findings from his research on community flood resilience within the 'Retrofitting Resilience' study, Ed will be releasing a book through RIBA Publishing entitled; ‘Retrofitting for Flood Resilience: A Guide to Building and Community Design’. Due for publication in 2018.
In October 2016 Ed won the Sunday Times British Homes Award ‘Resilient Home’ design competition (in collaboration with JTP) with the scheme entitled ‘A Home For All Seasons’.
THE HOME FOR ALL SEASONS
Winner of the 2016 Sunday Times & British Homes Awards 'Resilient Home' Design Competition. The Home for All Seasons is a model for a new type of housing that is future-proof to flooding, overheating and extreme cold. Its design provides protection, comfort and independence to residents through an approach of resilience, resilience, rather than resistance. It works inline with the principles of good place-making and rather than seeing 'resilience' as a compromise uses it as a feature to enhance the way in which residents live in and enjoy their homes. As a result those living in the 'Home for All Seasons' have peace of mind in the knowledge that their home can be quickly and easily be adjusted to cope with the wide range of challenges the future holds. A prototype of the scheme is being developed in collaboration with the BRE.