Built Environment’s expert on building resilience to flooding


CEBE Associate Dean Professor David Proverbs commented across various media outlets about the latest round of flooding to batter the Midlands last week. 

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Professor Proverbs, who is an expert on flood resilience and works regularly with the Environment Agency, gave interviews to Global, who operate Capital and Heart radio, and ITV Central on 20 and 21 February respectively.

He told Global listeners how weather patterns were predicted to change, with milder, wetter winters and more intense storms becoming the norm in line with climate change.

David said: “Flooding can’t be stopped and is only likely to become worse, especially as many new housing developments are located in flood prone areas.”

David has been working in the area of flood risk management for the last 20 years and is currently preparing an impact case study that will be submitted to the Research Excellence Framework evaluation this year.

He told Global: “We need to accept that some flooding is inevitable and manage the risk by taking steps to mitigate the damage caused and to speed up the recovery process. We need to make our existing buildings more resilient to flooding and avoid building new developments in flood prone locations.”

David told listeners that these steps will help them to improve their resilience:

  • Replacing carpets with hard floor finishes
  • Raising electrics to dado rail height
  • Replacing raised timber floors with solid concrete flooring
  • Using door guards, air brick covers and other proprietary flood protection products to help reduce the amount of floodwater entering the property
  • Replacing gypsum plaster with render to walls
  • Installing non-return valves on toilets.

As a member of the Environment Agency’s Trent Regional Flood and Costal Committee, which aims to ensure there are coherent plans for managing flooding across the East and West Midlands and ensures that the £50m budget for 2019-20 is invested appropriately, David was asked by Central News whether the government was doing enough to tackle flooding.

The funding represents a part of a £2.6bn investment being made by the Government and is dedicated to improving flood protection for 300,000 homes across a six-year cycle from 2015-21.

Pictured: Professor David Proverbs

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