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Blue sky thinking on resilience


Mark Harris of Radmat Building Products explains why the UK needs to increase the uptake of blue roofs and make a major contribution to flood risk alleviation


here is no quick fix for flood risks. Sustainable drainage strategies contribute to rainwater management, flood risk alleviation and deliver other benefits in new build construction, but what about cities, where vast quantities of hard landscaping cannot be replaced by swales and bunds, and where providing below ground attenuation is difficult? The Building Regulations help to ensure that new build construction helps alleviate flood risk, but 98 per cent of the built environment is existing buildings, so what about the flood risk contribution from them? Without regulatory change it is


T ADF JANUARY 2019


unlikely we will see any positive contribution to flood risk alleviation by buildings in cities and existing buildings, but there is some light at the end of the tunnel. While we are unlikely to see national regulatory change in the near future, the updated London Plan, due for release in 2019, will take a positive step to ensuring London plays a positive role in controlling rainfall and improving drainage, by adding a requirement for rainwater attenuation systems known as blue roofs, There are also positive signs of adoption of this technology from the offices of the new city mayors in Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield.


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