How can Architectural Designers battle climate reality like flooding?
Flooding has for long been a major challenge for several properties. Changing climate conditions, typhoons, other outrageous climate occurrences, ocean level ascent, excessive flooding, king tides, and continuing advancement in floodplains are the reasons for flooding. Flooding is occurring at expanded recurrence and size. Some properties that have never been exposed to this danger, and those that flooded inconsistently in the past may experience more instances of flooding or of water clogging at more elevated levels than before.
Climate change is making urban communities more susceptible to flooding. As indicated by a recent report, worldwide ocean levels are expected to ascend somewhere in the range of two and seven feet throughout the century; by 2100, which is 190 million individuals could be living in regions underneath the projected high-tide line.
Coastal communities worldwide should brace themselves for considerably more difficult future than presently expected.
The danger of flooding is changing the manner in which urban communities are constructed, and Architectural Design Firms are adjusting their plans to another environment reality. Utilizing sustainable materials and creative strategies could be progressively significant in a future where flooding is widespread. Architectural Designers are taking several protective measures that could combat the changing climatic conditions and save lives and architecture.
Below are some steps which could be considered by Architecture Design Firms before designing any building structure.
1. Identify the area
Firstly, the architects should identify whether the building is being designed in a flood-prone area. Flood maps are easily available online as well as by U.S Federal Emergency Management Agency. Post analysis of the area, the client or the architect can relocate the project location or move ahead with the same location with some protective measures.
2. Build above the flood levels
To begin, architects and engineers should construct the design above the flood level to limit the damages if a flood occurs. The flood level elevations for particular regions can be found out online (Estimated Base Flood Elevation Viewer run by FEMA). With this data, designers can observe how high to raise the structure and with what technique they ought to do so. One usual method of lifting is by building the construction on sections or stilts. Another way would be building a solid foundation a little higher. For more explicit data on what to do, architects ought to evaluate the environment and flood history of the specific region and counsel data accessible online.
3. Work with Flood Resistant Material
Flood-resistant materials are those which can stand the rising waters for no less than 72 hours without critical damage. Flood water can be both hydrostatic (standing water) and hydrodynamic (streaming water), and most of the time result in damaging foundation walls, collapsing structures, floating gas tanks, scouring, etc., Significant or extensive damage are those which require more than cosmetic restorative repair such as painting. To forestall these damages, flood-resistant materials should be tough and impervious to inordinate moistness such as concrete, coated block, closed-cell and foam insulations, steel equipment, pressure-treated and marine-grade plywood, ceramic tile, water-safe glue, polyester epoxy paint, etc.
4. Apply Coatings or use Waterproof Veneer
There exist two unique sorts of flood proofing: dry and wet. Dry floodproofing forestall the entry of streaming waters, though wet flood proofing permits rising waters to go into the house. Coatings, sealants, and waterproof veneers are used in dry flood proofing wherein they keep water away from entering inside. A waterproof veneer can comprise a layer of brick upheld by a waterproof membrane, concealing the outside walls against water penetration. For the inside walls, the architects should use washable closed-cell foam insulation for areas below the flood level.
Essentially, coatings and sealants might be applied to the foundation, walls, windows, and entryways to forestall rising water from going into the house through cracks, as these openings are hardly intended to be watertight or resist flood loads as they are.
5. Lift or waterproof HVAC Equipment
Placing service equipment above the flood level is the most ideal approach to prevent it from any damages. Such equipment includes HVAC systems, plumbing fixtures, duct systems, switchboards, meters, and other service panels. If these parts are immersed in floodwater for even a brief timeframe, they can be widely damaged and should be supplanted. Electrical equipment has the potential to cause a short circuit. It is best that these parts are raised over the flood level, however, they may also be designed to prevent damage from flooding by waterproof enclosures, protective coatings, or other methods. Engineering Design Firms should consult municipal codes for the same.
6. Anchor Fuel Tanks
Unanchored fuel tanks are simply moved by rising waters, which could drive the tank into walls, harm other property, and cause contamination, and can fill the water with oil. Indeed, even buried tanks can be pushed to the surface because of buoyancy. This it is essential that gas tanks are secured, either by connecting them to the substantial concrete slab that is sufficiently heavy enough to resist rising water or by running tides over them and affixing them to ground anchors.
7. Install Foundation Vents
An illustration of wet flood proofing is to introduce foundation vents, which permit rising water to move through the home instead of pooling around it. While this arrangement might appear like an unreasonable one because of the harm it could do to the inside of the property, it really gives an outlet to the rising water and mitigates the harmful pressure that rising water puts on the windows and walls. In the interior generally a subgrade cellar – is designed utilizing flood-safe materials, hydrostatic openings, and protective equipment, the damage can be restricted, although post-flood cleanup will be essential. Essentially, a sump pump is a sort of hardware that draws off the water out of cellars where flooding happens consistently. Sump pumps with battery backup are highly prescribed to permit them to keep working when the power goes out.
8. Develop Permanent Barriers
Setting a permanent barrier around the given structure can forestall rising waters from reaching it. Floodwalls can be constructed around which are generally made on concrete or masonry. While this arrangement might seem like the least complex, both floodwalls and levees need heavy maintenance. Moreover, the levees require a great amount of land and usable soil materials to be constructed.
9. Introduce Backflow Valves for Sewage Systems
Sewer backflow valves forestall overflowing sewage systems from backing up into a home. In certain flood-prone regions, this issue is common and can cause harm that is both hard to fix and perilous to inhabitants’ wellbeing. However, gate valves are preferable over flap valves since they give a superior seal against flood pressure.
10. Grade the Lawn Away from the House
One last technique that designers can use to moderate the damages from flooding is to grade the lawn away from the house. In the circumstances when the lawn leans toward the house, water will pool around the home. Conversely, shifting it outward coordinates water away. To this end, the lawn should utilize soil that contains clay substance and sand, permitting the surface runoff to discharge into a more suitable spot like a road drain.