Protecting people and property from the effects of flooding is often more art than science. The lack of empirical research leaves a void which is filled with prejudicial opinion, and this can lead to poor design or failed approaches.
Why do new homes remain vulnerable to flooding?
- Why is the uptake of property level flood protection low?
- How do we design our homes and businesses to be flood resilient?
- How can we better predict floods and manage them when they occur?
Aquobex not only values the contribution that can be made by researchers and scientists, but is prepared to invest significantly in order to further develop understanding in the subject matter. We welcome further opportunities to collaborate in developing this work and taking up the social responsibility of the industry.
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Aquobex operates the premier test facility dedicated to PAS1188-1 and FM2510 testing of flood protection products. It is equipped to produce the necessary conditions for static water testing, current testing and with wave-makers suitable to deliver the JONSWAP wave formations specified in the standard. The wave-maker and software was supplied by Edinburgh Designs with independent control and monitoring of each paddle to precisely adjust for the reflections and accumulations that would otherwise build up during testing within a test tank.
The investment in the facility was to provide an in-house test facility for Aquobex to develop a deep understanding of all available flood protection products and inform on their applications and limitations. It also allows Aquobex to certify bespoke products for client projects and to offer a much-needed facility to entrepreneurs and inventors to assess, develop and certify their products.
The facility is utilised by BSI and BRE for flood product testing but also has other uses.
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- Research & development
- Client verification/witnessing
- Coastal and other applications
The facility is based on the campus owned by BRE (Building Research Establishment), the home of the UK’s testing in the built environment such as fire, security and structural testing. This is located in Watford and within easy access of the M25.
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FLOOD RESILIENCE RESEARCH
With a lack of empirical data on the performance of buildings and materials in flood conditions, Aquobex has taken the steps towards building the evidence base needed to bring the industry up to a level that reflects the critical nature of flooding.
By developing a test protocol for construction methods and flood protection products, Aquobex is working to establish a robust approach to specifying the most appropriate measures to be taken into account for flood repair and damage mitigation for a building.
The project is funded by Innovate UK through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme. This involves rigorous scientific testing, expertise and knowledge being transferred between a world-class flood protection company and one of the UK’s leading researchers into the built environment.
The ultimate goal of this partnership is to improve the knowledge about building performance and to develop a tool that can predict the potential damage to buildings, a unique and necessary service. This will help insurers, developers and other stake-holders understand their risk and inform adapted approaches to planning, design and construction.
Martin Dolan is an architectural researcher specialising in flood resilience and building performance that sits at the centre of this partnership. His research investigates the use of traditional and innovative construction techniques and products in providing solutions to potential flood damage to buildings.
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Aquobex has developed a global reputation for delivering significant return on investment. Our innovative products have protected millions of pounds of assets as well as saving lives and homes from the dangers of flooding.
As one of 20 selected international partners, our involvement in the i-React project allows us to focus on how to proactively save lives and communities across the world. In the face of a changing climate that is seeing floods, wildfires and other extreme weather events become more frequent; the project aims to combine best practice emergency response with big data management and new technologies to improve the prediction and management of natural disasters.
The Flood Resilient Property
Working in partnership with the award-winning Baca Architects, the Aquobex Flood Resilient Property™ at BRE Innovation Park is now in the planning stages. A working demonstration of cutting-edge technology for the building and retrofitting of flood resistant and resilient buildings, the property will feature up to Code Level 6 sustainability.
Live demonstrations will illustrate how quickly vulnerable flooded areas in domestic, commercial and retail properties can be recovered at minimal cost and disruption, while still maintaining the aesthetics required for modern living. It is now more important than ever to establish easily affordable flood protection products and flood resilience methods for all building types in retrofit and new build.
Environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions are essential for active sewer maintenance, ‘low flush’ toilet systems and the installation of affordable manual or automatic barriers and flood defences. The development of resilient interior materials for walls, floors, kitchens, bathrooms and much more is critical in giving security to property owners and helping them to achieve better insurance premiums.
Featuring flood protection products from a range of suppliers, the live demonstration building will showcase the effectiveness of flood doors and barriers, flood resilient interiors, sewer maintenance and FOG prevention. Displaying nanoShell, Dragonboard®, Sealwise and cavity wall insulation, the building offers additional expertise in rainwater harvesting and sustainable drainage systems (SUDS)