The Flood Resilience Summit 8th February 2018
BRE Innovation Park, Watford

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Summit Information

The past 10 years has witnessed a series of significant flooding events that have impacted thousands of households across the UK. In 2015 Defra, commissioned the private sector to devise an action plan to improve the uptake of flood resilience measures in homes and small businesses. This was published in September 2016 as the ‘Property Flood Resilience Roundtable Report’.  Since publication implementation of the Plan has commenced.  The conference will set out some of the new developments and progress made, including Flood Resilient Repair Demonstrations.

The conference will place the Action Plan within the context of the wider aspects of flood risk management.  It will include an international speakers session, providing lessons from around the world.  It will also provide delegates with the opportunity to hear from leading insurers and construction industry parties in this field.


09.25-10.05 Designing for Resilience

Speaker: Rebecca Taylor

The presentation will examine some of the challenges facing new build residential development in the UK – climate change, higher incidence of major weather events including floods, changes in how we live and might live in the future alongside availability of suitable land, speed of delivery, affordability etc.  It will then examine some possible solutions that are currently being explored, using case studies from one off examples to the design and delivery of new resilient communities.  It will seek to demonstrate that we need to be thinking and planning creatively for the future in order to embrace the challenges we face.


10.15-10.55 The Evidence Base for Property Flood Resilience

Speaker: Dr Jessica Lamond and Ian Gibbs

The evidence for the effectiveness of property flood resilience in reducing the loss, by minimising building damage and time to repair resulting from flooding, for property holders and their insurers.

We will discuss three initiatives 

  1. Early results from the Flood Re project to enhance the evidence base for the value of PFR, to help inform decisions about the support to homeowners that could be provided by Flood Re in decisions about PFR.
  2. Activities of TG2 of the Defra roundtable, reviewing the evidence requirements of insurers of businesses at risk to acknowledge successful PFR and the impact of lenders attitude to resilience
  3. The Code of Practice for PFR designed to help ensure that property holders and their insurers get a reliable and consistent service from the PFR industry 
  • Strong evidence exists that PFR can prevent loss and damage from flooding for households and businesses and their insurers
  • PFR can be cost beneficial particularly for property that floods on a regular basis
  • Households and businesses have different priorities that need to be considered
  • Data and evidence gaps exist, for example value of innovative measures and low cost options, reliability and maintenance
  • Consistency of approach, and evidence of reliability of measures will bring confidence to the market, but insurer/lenders will need to build systems to acknowledge the positive impact of resilience. Code of Practice and unified guidance will be a key initiative in market confidence
  • More research is needed to bridge the evidence gaps and provide more certainty for households, businesses and insurers on what is effective PFR
  • Communication of the existing evidence and success stories is essential increase confidence and uptake of PFR

The PFR and insurance industry need to work together with others to: deliver cost effective PFR for allproperties at risk; continually innovating and developing the evidence that will convince stakeholders to invest in PFR.


11.25-12.05 An Innovative Adaptation Strategy for Flood Resilience and The Protection of Cultural Heritage

Speaker: Dr Elizabeth English

Protecting historic architecture and urban fabric from the increasing risk of flooding wrought by climate change is a challenging prospect.  Forward-looking strategies capable of providing adaptability to future flooding levels that are difficult to quantify in advance are especially needed. 

Amphibious architecture offers a visually unobtrusive, adaptable and resilient approach to flood mitigation.  A buoyant foundation refers to a specific type of amphibious architecture—a retrofit to an existing building that enables it to stay in place until the event of a flood, when it rises and floats on the surface of the water until the floodwater recedes.  Amphibious construction is an adaptive flood risk reduction strategy that works in synchrony with a flood-prone region’s natural cycles of flooding.  A buoyant foundation retrofit (BFR) is capable of providing an historic structure with protection from flood damage with little or no change to the appearance of the building or loss of visual coherence of the neighborhood.  Although BFR is a solution that is not universally suitable for all types of flooding or building construction, it is nonetheless a flood mitigation and climate change adaptation strategy that in appropriate situations has much to offer.  


12.15-14.05 Networking Buffet Lunch & Flood House Demo & Innovation Park Tour

Lunch will be provided during this networking session. You will also have the chance to have a tour of the Innovation Park and watch the Flood Resilient House demo during this time.

Flood House Demo:

You will gain free access to the BRE’s Flood Resilient Repair Home at the BRE Innovation Park at Watford. Here you can witness a live demonstration of the house being flooded!

Innovation Park Tour:

During your tour of the Innovation Park, you will explore full-scale demonstration buildings, developed by industry partners of the bre. The buildings all display innovative design, materials and technologies which address development challenges relevant to current topics from around the world.


14.15-14.55 City to City Learning for Resilience

Speaker: Chris Zevenbergen

Cities nowadays are facing unprecedented challenges and opportunities to keep pace with the rapid changes and to foster resilience.  Responding to these challenges, and seizing the opportunities, is placing new and complex demands on decision makers. It requires an open and learning attitude to accelerate learning through ‘learning from each other’ (peer learning). The emphasis on accelerated learning stems from the insight that combined processes of peer learning and learning from experiments and full scale pilots will be crucial. That's why the capacity to learn and to engage in city to city networks will play an imminent role in this process of life-long learning.

In spite of a growing attention to city peer learning, this field remains young with a limited base of practice, case studies, and guidance. To make deliberate and strategic change and to accelerate uptake of good practices, it will be an increasing need for cities to engage in city to city learning networks and to learn from lessons of other cities.

C2C learning networks, such as UNISDR’s Making Cities Resilient Campaign, Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities, EU Mayors Adapt, C40, ICLEI, are providing the platforms to build and share evidence around adaptation in practice and put in place rigorous monitoring and evaluation systems to share planning frameworks, decision making tools, resilient development measures, analytical case studies and private sector engagement models.

Key points:

  • Participation in a peer city learning network which supports formal and informal sharing of information. These networks should act as a common platform that connects the urban players across the participating cities.
  • C2C learning is an interactive process between people. These people should be highly motivated to advance their personal and professional learning. But they also require support from their city and have access to local data and information.
  • C2C learning required mobilization of local resources and capacities
  • Each city is different and has different needs no one size fits all, requiring customized tools/approaches

City to City learning requires cities to develop internal leadership and to have a common vision that encourage the learning and exchange with other cities. The starting point of a city to consider engaging in a city learning network is knowing what needs to be discovered. This could be informed by a self-assessment, using e.g. the Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient. The completion of a self-assessment helps a city to understand its existing gaps and challenges in disaster risk reduction. The key premise is that C2C learning must be useful for the involved cities in addressing these gaps and challenges. A city learning network should, therefore, consider those peer cities and activities that match with specific city’s needs. This means that the network has to be organised in advance and systematic in its matching.


15.05-15.45 Flood – Are You Prepared?

Speaker: Graham Brogden

Graham will be talking about the property flood resilience action plan and the progress being made. He will also cover a new readiness campaign being launched by BERG.

The presentation will cover:

  • Purpose of the property flood resilience action plan
  • Progress since the launch in 2016
  • Overview of the work
  • The code of Practice
  • The EA Environmental 25 year plan
  • Recovery following a flood
  • Focus on SME 
  • The BERG 'Will you be ready campaign' 


You will gain an understanding of why the group was formed, the progress made in the last year and focus for 2018.


16.10-16.55 The Cumbrian Flood Resilience Showcase Project

Speaker: Mary Dhonau

The presentation will give an up to date overview of the showcase project:

  • Origin
  • The properties
  • The resilient solutions for each property
  • Lessons learnt so far


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