Institute says ‘keeping water out’ is not a good enough response 

Resilience to Flooding © The Environmental Design & JTP

RIBA has warned that one in six homes – around 5.4 million units – are at risk from flooding and is urging the government to do more to back the building of flood-resilient dwellings.

In a new report RIBA said managing flood risk could not rely on “keeping the water out”, with the number of homes at risk of flooding likely to double between now and 2050.

The government needed to develop a new approach to decision-making and regulation in tackling flood threats, RIBA said, introducing specific building regulations for flood resilience and resistance.

Annual floods have had an increasing affect on much of the UK, with 2007’s summer-long deluge – the worst on record – causing property damage of around £6.5bn.

RIBA’s report says that “embedding flood resilient design will help future-proof new developments and deliver greater value for money when investments in new flood defences are made”.

Ben Derbyshire, RIBA’s president, said: “In the next 30 years, the number of homes at risk of flooding is expected to double. Now is the time to adapt and think creatively about how to tackle this threat.

“We urge the government to step up and encourage the collaboration and innovation needed to create new homes and communities that are resilient to the devastating effects of flooding.”