Flood defences: small is beautiful


A changing climate and the increasing prevalence of surface water flooding means we can no longer rely only on large defences to protect people and property, according to a University of Manchester researcher.

Dr Iain White said new small-scale technologies can be applied to buildings to manage surface water flooding.
However, structural defences continue to play a role in mitigating flooding from rivers and the sea, he added.
He said: ‘Flood doors, flood guards and perimeter barriers are becoming a crucial tool to counter flooding caused by intense rainfall, however not enough people or organisations are aware of these technologies and how to use them.
“They can be used in addition to large scale defences, or where defences are unaffordable.”
To address this problem, research led by Dr White designed new guidance on how to use these measures. It is aimed at local authorities, property owners, and flood risk professionals in England and is launched today.
A six step process guides users on how to implement new technologies from surveying, through to design and maintenance.
He added: “Based on the latest research and working with industry partners, our guidance simplifies the process and shares best practice. We hope this guidance achieves the longer term goal of improving the route to market for innovative technology to prevent flooding at the building scale.”
The research project (SMARTeST) was produced in collaboration between The University of Manchester, The Building Research Establishment and Manchester Metropolitan University.
Hosted in collaboration with the National Flood Forum, the launch event will take place at Carr’s Lane Church Centre in Birmingham on June 4th with a host of experienced speakers including Dr. Stephen Garvin (BRE), Paul Cobbing (the National Flood Forum), Dr Iain White (The University of Manchester) and Gavin George (the Flood Protection Association).

Notes for editors

Photo courtesy think4photop/www.freedigitalphotos.net

The Guidance is part of an EU funded project involving ten European research institutes technology providers, environment agencies, the insurance industry and local authorities on smart resilience technology, systems and tools (SMARTeST).
It is available on request.
Dr. Iain White is available for interview.
For media enquiries contact
Dr Iain White
The results from the SMARTeST project are available to view at: http://www.floodresilience.eu
To enquire about other results from SMARTeST, contact:
Dr Stephen Garvin
Building Research Establishment
01355 576242
Mike Addelman
Press Officer
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
0161 275 0790
07717 881567