Resilience Brief – Adaptation strategies

Sudden onset of extreme weather events poses various threats to the CRE industry. Take a look at the potential impacts at the building level and some adaptation strategies to consider when planning for resilience against extreme precipitation and flooding at your property.

Extreme Precipitation and Flooding: Increased duration, intensity and frequency of precipitation events

Potential threats

  • Flooding and inundation of low-lying lands and property causing an impact on soil surrounding the foundation which can lead to sewer back up
  • Damage to piped water, sanitation drainage, and communication, power or gas lines
  • Contamination of source drinking water due to pollution overflow
  • Increased erosion impacting infrastructure functionality and increasing maintenance costs
  • Road and transit closure due to flooding

Adaptation Strategies

  • Conduct a local flood risk assessment to determine the minimum capacity of rain to flood entry points. Locate and assess each of the potential flood entry points.
  • Assess perimeter of building and adjacent city streets to determine if any road construction or temporary metal road plates change storm water drainage.
  • Determine water filtration capacity of exterior deck or terrace before backup occurs.
  • If cisterns are present, determine the capacity of the overflow value.
  • Retrofit with waterproof or water-resistant materials for flooring, foundation etc.
  • Retrofit windows and doors on ground level to be watertight to prevent water or debris from entering the building.
  • If retrofitting, consider relocating HVAC, plumbing, servers, and other critical infrastructure above the height of expected flood levels.
  • Relocate sensitive documentation and/or server backups above water inundation levels, or consider offsite storage (in a flood-resistant location).
  • Raise waste disposal and recycling above inundation levels.
  • Pave a small raised ledge (similar to a speedbump) at the opening of the underground parking garage to prevent floodwaters from entering.
  • Implement temporary flood barriers/berms that can be quickly assembled to protect buildings from flooding. Consider location of flood entry points, including exterior vent grates.
  • Incorporate landscape features such as berms to provide natural barriers and use native plants to buffer and absorb excess water on-site.
  • Retrofit elevators to include water detectors that stop the elevator above flood inundation levels.
  • Implement alternative transit access points in the event that one mode of transportation is down.

To download the full BOMA Canada Resilience Brief click here.

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