Flood lessons to drive innovation?

“We live in a culture in which developers and the construction industry are allowed to plunder the present, leaving everyone else to pay for tomorrow’s mess.”

Alan Simpson. MP (lab) for Nottingham South, writing in the Guardian (pour response) yesterday makes a strong case for our ‘built environment’ industry to learn real lessons from the floods, particulary from european practices.

He cites examples such as:

In the Ljburg district of Amsterdam, floating houses have been built. Not far away, on the floodplain of Maasbommel, the Dutch are building permanently floating and amphibious homes. Anchored to mooring piles rather than fixed into foundations, the concrete-based homes rise and fall with flood water levels. Wiring and sewage is ducted through the mooring piles. In the newest, changes in water level are used to generate electricity to make the houses energy self-sufficient.

Looking forward to the construction of the 3m homes, many of which will be on flood plain areas…we do need a radical, not step change, approach to housing design, and in doing so using lessons from the recent floods as a catalyst for delivering the sustainable home of the future.

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