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Designing for flood resilience
Talks and lectures

Designing for flood resilience

With flood events set to increase in both frequency and severity as a result of climate change, it is vital that we understand the ways in which the built environment can be adapted to cope with the challenges it is set to endure. This seminar will explain the key principles of designing for flood resilience in relation to both new build and existing communities.

Designing for flood resilience: tips for architects and designers

The physical, economic and social impacts of flooding can be both severe and wide reaching. It is a topic that often seems insurmountable and yet increasingly pertinent at local, national and international levels. It is the manner in which the built environment is configured that may often result in a community’s vulnerability to flooding and, as such, it is an area that architects and designers can play a huge part in helping to affect change.

This seminar will introduce the key principles of designing for flood resilience. It begins by discussing the various types of flooding that can occur and explains the range of tools and techniques available for understanding flood risk contexts. Strategies for adaptation and resilience are discussed at the catchment, community and building scale in relation to both new and existing buildings. Using case studies and worked examples the speaker will explain how these techniques may be effectively applied.

This comprehensive session will cover:

  • Flood risk contexts: impacts at the global, national and community scale
  • Types of flooding: the causes, impacts and relevant strategies
  • Tools and techniques for understanding flood risk and resilience: key principles and resources available
  • Flood risk management: traditional and contemporary approaches, both inland and coastal
  • Community level strategies: Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), street level strategies
  • Building level strategies: resistance and resilience measures for both new build and existing buildings
  • Reflections on the pathway to a resilient future: opportunities and barriers to change


Ed Barsley, The Environmental Design Studio
Ed is founder and director of the award winning design research consultancy, The Environmental Design Studio (TEDS). He previously worked for BACA Architects helping run the Climate Adaptive Neighbourhoods project, winner of the 2014 Presidents Medal for Research in Practice, and was involved in writing the book 'Aquatecture'.

Since the publication Ed has been researching flood resilience for his PhD in Architecture at the University of Cambridge. He is special advisor on flood risk to Greg Clark MP and in 2016 won the Sunday Times ‘Resilient Home’ competition with the ‘Home For All Seasons’. In 2018 the RIBA will be publishing his book 'Retrofitting for Flood Resilience: A Guide to Building and Community Design'.

Seminar fees

  • RIBA/CIAT members £65 + VAT
  • Non-RIBA members £92 + VAT
  • RIBA student members £15 + VAT

Other booking options

For more information on other seminars in Core CPD 2018, and Club Ticket booking, saving £250 per year, go to Core CPD 2018.

Core Curriculum topics

1. Legal, regulatory and statutory compliance
2. Places, planning and communities
3. Sustainable architecture

Sponsored by:

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