Resilience measure: Building elevation


Building elevation is a measure mainly suitable for new constructions, but it can also be applied on existing buildings. The building is elevated to prevent flood waters entering the lowest floor of the building. This can be done by elevating the entire house, including the floor either on extended foundations, piers, piles or columns (normally, as a preventive measure), or by leaving the house in its existing position and constructing a new, elevated floor within the house (palliative). (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2014)

Co-benefits and impacts

Elevation to the required flood protection level allows a substantially damaged or improved structure to be brought into compliance with floodplain development standards. Elevation can significantly reduce flood risks to the structure and its contents. Except where the area below the structure is used for storage, elevation does not require active intervention during a flood (such as relocation of vulnerable items to higher levels). Often also reduces flood insurance premiums (in the regulated floodplain, actuarial insurance costs are based on the height of the first floor relative to the base flood elevation). Techniques are well-known and qualified contractors are often readily available. Building elevation does not require additional land beyond the original footprint of the structure.
(Southern Tier Central, Floodproofing Info #2: Elevating a Structure, accessed on Sept. 2016)

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Last modified: Sept. 19, 2016, 7:38 a.m.