Retrofitting for Flood Resilience Guide

RIBA House Floods Publication, Property Leak Protection, Home Clean Up Tips, Insurance

Retrofitting for Flood Resilience

RIBA Building Flooding Protection Publication – Property Cleanup Article

10 Jan 2020

Retrofitting for Flood Resilience: A Guide to Building and Community Design

From surviving to thriving in an age of floods: RIBA’s new title ‘Retrofitting for Flood Resilience’ shows us how…

With many throughout the UK now facing the arduous journey of restoring their homes after winter floods that reached new destructive heights, it’s clear that we must prepare better and faster for flooding—and not just in the UK.

Retrofitting for Flood Resilience: A Guide to Building and Community Design by RIBA

Retrofitting for Flood Resilience: A Guide to Building and Community Design is the newest release from RIBA. This timely guide equips homeowners, design professionals and policy makers with a comprehensive understanding of the topic and the practical knowledge to make a difference.

“The issue of flooding is increasingly pertinent,” author Edward Barsley explains. “This book has been written to help raise awareness of the fundamental causes of flooding, as well as the catastrophic consequences that can ensue. Crucially, it’s been created to highlight the vast range of different ways in which the built and natural environment can be adapted to reduce the severity of the negative consequences of flooding, and their frequency, so that we don’t just survive but thrive.”

Featuring over 300 original illustrations created by the author, Retrofitting for Flood Resilience is highly visual and accessible to all. It showcases design strategies at the catchment, community, street and building scale, features case studies from around the world, and discusses flood resilience in relation to existing communities as well as the design of new developments.

Edward takes inspiration and guidance from several of his practices award-winning projects: including the Sunday Times ‘Resilient Home’ competition winning ‘Home for All Seasons’ and ‘Shifting Shorelines’ study. His work is showcased alongside and a multitude of exemplar international research studies and projects from around the world.

RIBA Retrofitting for Flood Resilience Guide

As a specialist in environmental design in architecture, Edward brings together expertise and innovation, drawing inspiration from his work as Founder and Director of the award-winning practice, The Environmental Design Studio (, and research from council funded studies exploring how risk is communicated, spatial strategies for adaptation and the value of retrofitting resilience.

“The process of adaptation should not just be seen as a necessity, given the increase in frequency and severity of flood events, but as an opportunity through which to deliver wider benefits such as improved biodiversity and to enhance the quality of placemaking in communities throughout the world.”

RIBA Retrofitting for Flood Resilience publication

Available now from RIBA Bookshops, Amazon and online, the book will be officially launched on January 16th, 2020 at Arboretum, London. Ed will also be speaking at the RIBA Bookclub on February 28th.

The book’s cover artwork was created by New York-based artist Zaria Forman, whose breath-taking pastel drawings document climate change. The cover image examines the theme of sea level rise in the Maldives. See more of her work here:

RIBA Retrofitting for Flood Resilience title

Reviews of Retrofitting for Flood Resilience:

“An impressive book. Comprehensive and authoritative, it conveys a wealth of information on the causes and impacts of flooding, with strategies for tackling these at all scales. Illustrated with case studies from around the world, it features clear depictions of design solutions and hundreds of original diagrams that encapsulate points made in the text and act as useful triggers for design and policy thinking.”
Bill Gething, Professor of Architecture, UWE

“People’s lives are being increasingly disrupted by climate change impacts like floods. Successful communities will be the ones most able to continue to operate through storms or return to business quickly afterwards. This book is a practical guide to improved living during a global crisis.”
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency and UK Commissioner to the Global Commission on Adaptation.

RIBA Retrofitting for Flood Resilience Advice

About the Author

Edward Barsley is a specialist in environmental design in Architecture with a particular interest in developing strategies to reduce flood risk and increase resilience in the built environment.

He is founder of ‘The Environmental Design Studio’ (TEDS)(, winner of the Sunday Times ‘Resilient Home’ competition with the ‘Home for All Seasons,’ speaks at flood conferences worldwide and runs RIBA’s nationwide training on flood resilient design.

His current research is focused on developing new methods and tools for communicating, assessing and retrofitting resilience in the built and natural environment. This is being undertaken through interdisciplinary studies in his practice and within the PhD in Architecture he has been working on at the University of Cambridge.

About RIBA

RIBA is one of the leading providers of high-quality information for architects and other built environment professionals. With over 35 years’ experience, they publish authoritative and practical information for the market, from good practice, legal and management guides to technical design guides, and anything in between.

Comments on this Retrofitting for Flood Resilience Guide article are welcome.


Flooding Posts

Flood Resilient Architecture for the 21st Century

Flooding And Climate Change

What You Should Be Doing After Your House Floods

Architectural Design

Building Articles

American Homes

Population Growth Drives British Housing Crisis
UK MOD site, housing in Imber
photograph ©
UK Housing Crisis

New UK Housing: British Housebuilding

Model on UK housing crisis

150 North Riverside Building
Design: Goettsch Partners (GP)
150 North Riverside building structure design
image courtesy of Chicago Athenaeum
150 North Riverside Building Chicago

New London Housing

Mood Ring House, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA
Architects: SILO AR+D
New House in Fayetteville Arkansas
photo : Timothy Hursley
New Fayetteville House

Zero-carbon House, BRE site, Watford, southeast England
Design: Sheppard Robson with Arup
Zero-Carbon BRE House

Related Home Designs

Renewable House made of hemp : BRE Innovation Park

Zero-Carbon Home UK : Barratt Development

Comments / photos for the Retrofitting for Flood Resilience Guide page welcome