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Construction Industry has much to learn on building resilience from flooding

The chairman of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Select Committee, Neil Parish MP, has been on a fact-finding mission to a damage restoration depot in his own constituency.

Mr Parish was shown Richfords Fire & Flood’s facility at Cullompton on 17th February 2017 where he saw the equipment used to dry out buildings after an escape of water or flooding. The EFRA chair was also shown a training mock-up of a stud-wall which had been rigged up for injection drying and remote monitoring. After his tour, the Tiverton & Honiton MP said:

“I applaud the work of Richfords in allowing people back into their homes much more quickly and then, in the future, increase the resilience of that property. That’s great news because people don’t want to be out of their homes for a very long time. I chair the EFRA select committee and we recently published a report on floods and flooding. The report stressed how important it is to improve properties if they have flooded and make them more resilient afterwards.

I’m very interested in Richfords’ work because it will put in very good stead some future programmes. There is a lot that the Government and local authorities can learn through the planning process and the building control process as well. It is up to Government and local authorities to work with companies like Richfords so we can make life easier for people, get a better construction and better building in the first place so that hopefully, if it floods or has a fire, then it is more resilient.”

Among the other topics discussed was the new British Standard for Damage Management (BS12999) and the importance of getting this embedded in industry across the country.

Richfords’ Business Development Director, Michael Cooper, said:

“It is important that we make our knowledge available to politicians who are shaping future policies because the buildings being constructed now will have an impact on how we deal with the potential increase in flooding events in the future. We want to make getting people’s lives back as fast and effective as possible. However, we need to know that the housing being built can be restored. Our fear is that some of the new stock is NOT resilient. This fear is based on recent experience of dealing with
a water damage incidents in new timber-frame homes.”

Richfords Fire & Flood’s campaign to educate includes more meetings with politicians in the coming months and a series of CPD sessions for constructors and architects across the south west.