news from BRE

published: 29/11/2012

New flood resilience solutions for the urban environment

Ten European research institutes* have collaborated on a project for developing innovative flood resilient smart technologies and products for use in towns and cities.

Called SMARTeST, the emphasis of the project has been on developing cost effective measures that can be used by individuals and communities to protect their homes.

The long term aim of SMARTeST has been to improve the route to market of innovative flood resilient (FRe) technology by reducing deficiencies and obstacles, facilitating the design of more holistic flood defence systems and supporting the implementation of the new EU flood risk management policy of “Living with Floods”.

BRE scientist Dr Stephen Garvin who managed the EU-funded project said ’The events of recent days have shown that householders and businesses in flood risk areas too often rely on the use of sandbags when flood defences fail.  Sandbags do not hold back water and become heavy or split when wet. We need the next generation of flood resilience technology now – by this I mean smart systems with sensor technology, automatic control, innovative materials and high levels of performance.’

Working with the leading FRe technology providers, consultants, the insurance industry, environment agencies and local authorities, the project has developed and tested new technologies, including

  • Door resilient technologies
  • Automatic air brick covers and drainage products
  • Perimeter barriers
  • Wall insulation and building sealant systems.

Testing has shown that high levels of performance can be achieved, providing that products are thoroughly developed, tested and ultimately third party certified.

For more information on the SMARTeST project see the web site or contact Linda Mckeown, BRE tel 01923 664569, email


* Project partners

  1. Building Research Establishment (BRE), UK
  2. Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH), Germany
  3. Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB), France
  4. University of Manchester (UNIMAN), UK
  5. University of Athens (NKUA), Greece
  6. Dion Toumazis & Associates (CYT), Cyprus
  7. Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC), France
  8. Technical University of Delft (TUD), Netherlands
  9. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UMP), Spain
  10. Leibniz Institute of Ecological and Regional Development (IOER), Germany