The last UK floods demonstrated the vulnerability of the housing sector to natural catastrophes and the need for greater coordination for preparedness, response and recovery. At this event (along with other speakers) you will hear from Graham Brogden, Chair of the Property Level Resilience Roundtable, who will be sharing case examples and outcomes of the Roundtable.

You will also have the opportunity to visit the Flood Resilient Repair House on the BRE Innovation Park at Watford.

The demonstration home has been adapted to be resistant to flooding from water up to 600mm (2 feet) deep, and also to be resilient to the effects of being flooded beyond that. In other words, it is designed to dry out quickly and be suitable to move back into in a very short time after a flood incident.

At present, following a flood, builders repairing a flood-damaged home would strip off soggy plasterboard, take out the flooring and rip out a saturated chipboard kitchen. But, once the house has dried out, then they’d very likely put plasterboard back in, install a new chipboard kitchen, and use non-water resistant flooring and insulation materials, which, if the home were to flood again in the future, will suffer the same fate.

The BRE Flood Resilient Repair Home aims to show alternative replacement products in the repairs that will not be affected by subsequent flooding — products that are resilient. It also shows how simple measures such as placing electrical outlets higher up walls and using doors and windows with flood resisting seals can help minimise future damage. And, if water does get in, an automatic ‘sump pump’ connected to drains in the floor quickly gets water out of the house again.

Although the house is designed to be water resisting and resilient, it still looks and feels ‘homely’. It has products currently available on the marketplace showcasing how a house that has been designed to be resilient to flooding doesn’t need to look out of place as an everyday family home. Recently receiving an Environment Agency Project Excellence Award for the Innovation category in March 2018, the house demonstrates what good building practice looks like regarding the retrofit of properties in flood affected areas in the UK.

With 1 in 6 homes now at risk of flooding in the UK, this is a landmark project in order to meet the goals of the Property Flood Resilience Action Plan, an initiative that BRE has been heavily involved with as a part of the Property Flood Resilience Roundtable. This work also leads into the development of a voluntary code of practice for property flood resilience, which BRE are leading the development of on behalf of the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA). This was discussed as a key requirement for the UK government in their 25 year environment plan.

Find out more about the house here.

Along with sessions around preparedness, response and recovery from flooding, the event will cover issues for housing providers in the UK emerging since the Grenfell fire, and what is needed to change behaviours and provide some levels of assurance to safeguard the sector. It will look at the legal implications for Boards of Management and how can this be mitigated, as well as the steps we need to take towards a more resilient supply chain.

Speakers at the event will include Jo Boaden, CEO, Northern Housing Consortium, Mike Still, The Prince’s Business Emergency Resilience Group Chair, Dr Jim Glockling, Independent Review of Building Regulations, Fire Safety, Ian Gibbs, National Technical Manager, Sergon Building Consultants and Joey Tabone, BERG Director, Business in the Community.

Book onto the ‘Maintaining Social Housing Safety, Security & Reputation’ event here.