Aquobex looks at the issue of blending effective flood protection measures with building aesthetics
Integrating flood protection measures into a new property design is often quite a simple matter for architects and developers.
Elevation is the most common solution by raising finished floor levels (FFL) and entrances but protecting the family car is often neglected in a lot of these designs.
Disabled access can present difficulties though and sometimes the height to which the property has to be raised can make it look ridiculous.
In the commercial and retail world, elevation is often not an option for numerous reasons, not the least being ease of access.
Then when we focus on existing properties that are looking to expand and develop, elevation is often not a remote possibility.
At this stage, the architect and developer need to consider how they can develop the property within the constraints of planning constraints, possible Environment Agency objections and the real-world problem of all or part of the property being in a flood zone.
As we all know, aesthetics are a crucial part of property design and if solutions can be found that are not obviously flood protection measures, they will be accepted easier by the property owner.
Aquobex has been developing property level flood protection solutions for the past 10 years and have inherited products from over 20 years ago.
These early Floodguards barriers, although extremely efficient at keeping water out did leave a visible sign of flood protection around doors, windows and garage entrances.
To overcome this, we developed a heritage range of flood barriers that removed the “unsightly” back frame, and these have proved popular on Grade II listed buildings.
However, the market moved on and people and insurers were looking for more passive, less manual and less obtrusive solutions for their homes.
In the light of this, Aquobex developed and patented the first residential flood safety door in the UK and brought it to the market in 2010.
Since then we have been investigating how to bring this type of solution to the commercial and retail markets, as well as residential.
Bearing in mind the solutions had to be practical as well as aesthetically pleasing, we scoured the world and found a number of products to add to our PASSIVE Floodguards range of barriers.
These solutions are suitable for a wide range of building types across a range of flood types and can be easily adapted by architects to blend into their designs.
Examples include the FloodBreak self-rising & VSL barriers along with the Accredit Roller Shutter Flood Barrier.
We have just completed the testing of a Grade II listed zero threshold stable door which has the approval of Historic England and we are now looking to develop the solution for the commercial and retail sectors.
But as well as flood protection at the property level, architects, developers and construction companies should consider the wider aspects of the development and make use of soft and hard landscaping solutions.
For groundwater flooding, SUDS solutions can be a great way to keep the water away from the building and solutions such as EGRP (Energy-passive Groundwater Recharge Pump) offer invisible, maintenance free and pollution free solutions at low costs. The EGRP product can be easily incorporated into swales, permeable paving and linear drainage solutions to provide an effective solution without compromising the use of the site as it is deployed underground to ensure you do not lose development space.
Property flood protection is complex and even more so when the property has already been built, but a combination of interior waterproofing and exterior flood protection can provide an elegant as well as effective solution that is invisible to the occupier until it is needed.
For more information on a whole range of flood solutions for properties of all kinds contact us at Aquobex for an open and honest approach to what is possible.
Tel: 01923 518582
Please note: this is a commercial profile.