Attended by leading figures from DEFRA, The Environment Agency, AXA Insurance and a number of product partners in the project, The Flood Resilient Home was launched recently at the Building Research Establishment Innovation Centre near Watford.
Dr Peter Bonfield, CEO of BRE,was first to take the stage in a line-up of speakers providing an invited audience a deeper insight into the background of the project and the materials used. Among the flood resilient products featured in a house refurbished in a way to offer greater protection and quicker recovery times for victims affected by floods, is the Puustelli Miinus kitchen range.
Present at the launch, TonyLonnqvist, Puutell
The Puustelli Miinus range is the result of a €1.5 million investment R&D programme to develop a material to replace the standard Melamine Faced Particle Boards that make up the majority of kitchen cabinets. The complete range, from carcasses to doors, has been developed entirely on ecological grounds and utilises a bio-composite carcass frame that assists in almost halving the Carbon footprint and vastly reducing, to a safe level, additives such as Formaldehyde, that are still used in the manufacturing process for kitchens.
CEO of Puustelli, Jussi Aine, commented “We’re proud and honoured to have been asked to become a product partner in the drive to assist victims of floods across the UK”
The Environment Agency, in a 2009 government publication of the national picture, estimate that around 5.2 million properties in England, or one in six properties, are at risk of flooding.
In the Property Flood Resilience Action Plan published in September 2016 and backed by the government, the Roundtable Group Chairman, Peter Bonfield, stated:
“The climate is changing and this has resulted in extended periods of rain and/or higher intensity which in turn have led to a number of significant flood events over the last 10years, with major incidents in 2007, 2009, 2012, and 2013/14. December 2015 was the wettest December on record, but also the wettest calendar month overall since records began in 1910. More than 17,000 properties were flooded or affected, including over 4000 businesses. As late as September 2016, over 2000 householders have been unable to return to their homes and 700 businesses are still not fully operational.
A key solution to reducing the costs of repair of homes and buildings and to reduce the misery and disruption caused by flooding to families and businesses, is to install property level resilient measures into the building. These can be installed as either a preparatory measure, for properties at risk of flooding, or during the repair of buildings after they have been flooded. Property measures can help prevent flood water ingress into a building or aid rapid recovery and allow householders to simply wash out and disinfect after flooding, rather than requiring wholesale replacement of the fabric or the property. ”
The report goes on to provide a number of case studies that show how quickly buildings have become operational after flooding when flood resilient measures are used.
UK Sales Manager for Puustelli Miinus, Paul Morrice, said “Our involvement in the Flood Resilient Home project is a wonderful opportunity for us to work alongside other partners in the project to offer an effective means of minimising flood damage more speedily than ever before. The kitchen is at the heart of and is the vital engine of every home and we look forward to providing a solution to the misery suffered by many victims of flooding.”