Design for flood protection

My beloved country, Thailand is in the news a lot these days for the wrong reason. Half of the country is under the water. To look at it in the most positive way possible, it is a good time to develop and redesign the country by using the land use plan or the guideline produced by the RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects), Designing for Flood Risk

The guideline takes a design-led approach to addressing flood risk. It is aimed at practicing and student architects, urban designers and landscape architects, and is equally relevant to clients, planners and other urban professions.

The guideline can be found on the link above. Alternative designs for flood protection have been analysed and practiced around the world, however levee is and will still be one of the most important and widely adapted engineering works in dealing with flooding events. There is an interesting diagram that produced by Donald Watson and Michele Adams in Design for Flooding book which has been designed and adopted in some areas in Japan quite successfully.

The diagram demonstrates how levee alone might not be strong enough to prevent from the high pressure generated by waves during large flooding, and could cracks, be eroded overtime. To deal with this, one concept is to arrange the spatial arrangement of the town and consider the more appropriate Land Use Planning the works with the lie of land.

The picture above shows the levee that has been used along the riverfront in Japan.

The new Land Use design should demonstrate a sensible zoning for the city by locating the critical facilities, such as emergency hospitals, should ideally be located in areas where they will not flood and can operate during a flood event.  The vulnerability of occupants to flooding. Aged care and disabled facilities should generally be located in areas where they can be readily evacuated to dry land.  The vulnerability of buildings and contents. Homes and their contents are generally more vulnerable to flooding than industrial and commercial buildings and therefore should be located in less vulnerable areas. (see below).

On the individual building design, One possible way  is to elevate an existing building, or build a new one with an elevated first floor.   The Floating House in Lake Huron, Ontario Canada by MOS LCC Architects is one example.

Adapting to the constant, dynamic change of the tide, the house floats atop a structure of steel pontoons, allowing it to fluctuate along with the river-tide.

Thailand has never put a serious consideration into Land Use Planning, even less in the rural area outside the main city, judging from the overwhelming traffic in Bangkok itself, and the number of department stores that located next to each other in the city.

Perhaps, this is a good time to redo, rebuild and redesign this beautiful country that has so much potential.

About these ads

About Landscape Design by Chada

A landscape design practice runs by chartered landscape architects.
This entry was posted in Design. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s