Innovation: Technologies for the cost-effective flood protection of the built environment

Last update: 26.08.2013
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Keywords: 
standards, civil engineering, scientific research, construction technology, testing, inspection, network research, network technologies, environmental protection, measurement methods
The principal aim of FloodProBE is to provide cost-effective means for the flood protection and damage mitigation in urban areas. To this end, FloodProBE will develop, test and disseminate technologies, methods, concepts and tools for risk assessment and mitigation, focussing particularly on the adaptation of new and existing buildings (retrofitting) and on infrastructure networks.

The three main elements addressed by FloodProBE are
(a) the vulnerability of critical infrastructure and high-density value assets, being the main originators of direct and indirect flood damage,
(b) the reliability of urban flood defenses by improving understanding and assessment of failure processes that have proven to be critical in recent flood events and
(c) construction technologies and concepts for flood-proofing buildings and infrastructure networks to increase the flood-resilience of the urban system as well as for retrofit and repair of flood defenses in the most economic and cost beneficial manner.

The aforementioned elements will be integrated into state-of-the-art flood risk management strategies and will be developed, tested and validated via pilot study sites. A wide range of stakeholders will be involved in the project from the outset through an Associate Partner programme and by an external Advisory Board. This involvement will provide guidance on the project programme to directly meet industry needs, whilst also facilitating international dissemination, supporting uptake and implementation of project deliverables.

The primary impact of FloodProBE will be a significant increase in the cost-effectiveness (i.e. performance) of investments in newly developed and existing flood protection and flood resilience measures. This will be achieved by focusing the research on risk hotspots, i.e. weak links in flood defense system performance and vulnerable assets, that, if damaged, cause very large direct and indirect adverse consequences (e.g. infrastructure networks).

PROJECT GOALS:

The objectives and principal aims are:

• To improve methods for assessing the vulnerability to flooding of the urban environment, especially by extending conventional methods with the ability to assess indirect impacts of damage to networks and assets with a high value density.

• To improve the understanding and assessment of urban flood defence performance in order to develop suitable protection measures and to increase the cost-effectiveness of future investments.

• To develop and test construction technologies and concepts to improve the performance of existing and new flood defences and for flood-proofing of the urban environment.

• To integrate the knowledge developed in the project on assessment of vulnerability of urban areas and flood defences as well as the newly developed construction technologies and concepts to support holistic flood risk management strategies.

• To contribute to guidance in flood risk assessment and flood management practice in the urban context and thereby support implementation of the EU Flood Directive.
Research activities have been structured according to the following work packages (WP):

WP2 addresses issues related to the vulnerability understanding and assessment of the vulnerability of urban areas or systems.

WP3 deals with failure modes and the assessment and identification of weak spots in urban flood defences.

WP4 investigates cost-effective construction technologies and concepts for improving the performance of existing and new flood defences and for increasing the flood resilience of urban systems and assets

WP5 supports integration the research and newly developed knowledge into existing decision support models or systems, the production of industry guidance and the interaction and integration of pilot site studies across Europe.

The dissemination and stakeholder-involvement activities are addressed under WP6 whilst WP1 comprises all activities related to the management of the consortium.
Floods, together with wind related storms, are considered the major natural hazard in the European Union (EU) in terms of risk to people and assets. Currently, more than EUR 40 bn per year are spent on flood mitigation and recovery (including compensation of flood damage) in the EU. More than 75 % of the damage caused by floods is occurring in urban areas (COST22, 2008). About EUR 3 billion per year are spent on large-scale flood defence structures alone. The principal aim of FLOODPROBE was to provide cost-effective means for the flood protection and damage mitigation in urban areas.

Flood risk maps are the first step to draw a picture about where the flood prone areas are located. However, most of the maps do not assess the vulnerability of critical infrastructure networks and buildings. The review of construction methods produced a typology of common construction methods used in non-domestic buildings, covering external walls, internal partitions and floors. This work aimed at devising the methodology for a tool that has the inputs of flood characteristics, building structure, building construction and materials, contents, plans and activities; with the outputs which gauge the nature and extent of damage, duration of disruption, cost of repair/replacement.

Furthermore, common vulnerability assessments describe the risk and the weakness of one specific lifeline, such as water supply or electricity network. Research done focused on the assessment of interdependencies between critical infrastructure networks to understand how networked systems are resilient because societal functions are highly dependent on networked systems and the operability of these systems can be vulnerable to disasters. A methodology was developed to produce interdependent networks disturbance scenarios in order to identify the most critical components.

At the urban scale work was done to develop suitable approaches to assess and model urban floods and test the approaches in the case studies. This is following a three-stage approach comprising risk and vulnerability assessment (RVA), GIS-based analysis and ID model simulations, to make an assessment of flood risk for a selected area in the pilot site Trondheim.
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Flooding Dordecht January 2011 (from Floodprobe Website)
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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Technologies For The Cost-Effective Flood Protection Of The Built Environment

Acronym: 
FLOODPROBE

Runtime: 
01.11.2009 to 31.10.2013

Status: 
completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

STICHTING DELTARES

(Netherlands)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Mr. VAN REE Derk

Website: http://www.deltares.com

Phone: +31 88 3357404

Contact

ACCIONA INFRAESTRUCTURAS S.A.

(Spain)

Contact person: Mr. PARÍS TORRES Miguel Ángel

Website: http://acciona-infraestructuras.es

Contact

DELTASYNC BV

(Netherlands)

Contact person: Mr. DE GRAAF Rutger

Website: http://www.deltasync.nl

Phone: +31-15-2561872

Contact

DURA VERMEER GROEP NV

(Netherlands)

Contact person: BRANDENBURG-SLUIJTER Ellen

Website: http://www.duravermeer.nl

Phone: +31-235692382

Contact

EIVP

(France)

Contact person: Dr. SERRE Damien

Website: http://www.eivp-paris.fr

Phone: +33-156026105

Contact

HR WALLINGFORD LTD

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Mr. TAGG Andy

Phone: +44-1491822332

Contact

INSTITUT FRANCAIS DES SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES DES TRANSPORTS, DE L'AMENAGEMENT ET DES RESEAUX

(France)

Contact person: Mr. TINET Daniel

Website: http://www.ifsttar.fr

Phone: +33-472142553

Contact

INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE EN SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES POUR L'ENVIRONNEMENT ET L'AGRICULTURE

(France)

Contact person: MÉRIAUX Patrice

Phone: +33-442669951

Contact

METCENAS OPS - METHODOLOGY CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

(Czech Republic)

Contact person: Dr. VESELY Josef

Website: http://www.metcenas.eu/

Phone: +420-272659032

Contact

MOSTOSTAL WARSZAWA SA

(Poland)

Contact person: Mr. PONETA Pawel

Website: http://www.mostostal.waw.pl

Phone: +48-662021541

Contact

OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Prof. WALLIMAN Nicholas

Website: http://www.brookes.ac.uk

Phone: +44-1865483644

Contact

REGIONALNI ENVIRONMENTALNI CENTRUM (REC), CESKA REPUBLICA, O.P.S.

(Czech Republic)

Contact person: Dr. BOUKALOVA Zuzana

Phone: +420-602771783

Contact

SAMUI DESIGN & MANAGEMENT LTD

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Mrs. MORRIS Estelle

Website: http://www.samui.co.uk

Phone: +44-1865823153

Contact

SOLINTEL M&P SL

(Spain)

Contact person: Mr. ROYO Javier

Website: http://www.solintel.eu

Phone: +34-912930010

Contact

STIFTELSEN SINTEF

(Norway)

Contact person: Mr. IVERSEN Bjørn Skjold

Website: http://www.sintef.no

Phone: +47-93051090

Contact