Repair, Refurb, Retrofit

Resilient Flood


Flooding is at a new time high in the United Kingdom. Between 2015/2016 flooding was ever present in the news, which saw families left homeless and homes destroyed. An estimated 5.2 million homes are at risk from surface, river and coastal flooding; over 400,000 of these homes are classed as ‘extreme high risk’.

Both the construction and insurance sectors have recognised that this area needs attention and it needs attention now.

Homes already constructed in a flood prone area will require adapting, whilst developers need to take flood prevention measures into consideration when commencing new developments.

The Property Flood Resilience Action Plan, headed by Dr Peter Bonfield OBE, sought to explore avenues readily available to assist these requirements. Various experts joined the task force allowing for a cross section of knowledge, those included Stephen Garvin, Director of the BRE, Clare Moriaty (Permanent Secretary, DEFRA), Emma Howard Boyd (Chair, Environmental Agency), Gareth Howell (Managing Director, Direct & Retail Partnership, AXA Insurance) and Stephen Hodgson (PCA) to name but a few. The focus set, to join forces to find ways to prevent flood damage and ways to combat the devastation caused by flooding.

David J. Symes, Technical Director of Delta Membrane Systems Limited attended the focus group meetings. It was during these focus group meetings that Stephen Garvin of the British Research Establishment (‘BRE’) suggested use of the Victorian Terrace house which currently sits on site at the BRE Innovation Park. Stephen envisaged using the Victorian Terrace house to demonstrate how flood prevention can be incorporated into our homes, meaning flood damage is a thing of the past and families can get back into their homes sooner.

The Flood Resilient House was funded by the BRE Trust and global insurance organisation AXA, with contributions from a range of other partners including Delta Membrane Systems Ltd.

The Flood Resilient House whilst in the planning stage was desired to be both ‘Resilient’ and offer ‘Resistance’ and these approaches were incorporated into the project from the onset, the BRE has referred to this as ‘Property Flood Resilient Repair’. The project had a clear objective, to ensure limited damage to a property in the event of flooding, meaning a vast reduction in time needed for reoccupation.

44 The Flood Resilient House

Delta Membrane Systems Ltd’s Technical Director, David J. Symes produced a specification with the assistance from John O’Brien BRE Associate Director Construction Innovation.

The specification for resilience was simple, using tried and tested technology Delta Membrane Systems Ltd have used for many years, historically in basement or below ground structures/situations with consideration as to how we could adapt these products to work in flood situations. In addition to flood water entering through openings within structures such as doorways, air bricks and windows, ground water rising up through the floor can also cause extensive damage. With every scenario considered, a scheme was developed utilising a Delta Membrane System’s wall membrane ‘Delta MS500’ and Delta floor membrane ‘Delta MS20’ with a Delta sump and pump system (a Delta Duel V3 sump), with high level alarm ‘AlertMaxx’ and a battery back-up ‘PowerMaxx’, part of the Delta Maxx family.

Flood water enters a home causing extensive damage to the fabric of the building which leads to Insurers appointing a loss adjuster to assess the extent of the damage and the claim. The strip out begins and follows with the implementation of dehumidifiers to dry out the structure, (a process which takes numerous months) and insurers bear huge financial costs. The financial burden not just with the structural repairs but also in

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