Water-resistant construction methods and materials (dry proof)

Resident looks out the window from his house at the Korte Engelenburgerkade in the centre of Dordrecht to the high water © Robin Utrecht

Buildings can be designed in such a way that floods do not cause structural damage. This involves such measures as using water-resistant construction and finishing materials like concrete, closed cell insulation, bricks, wall and floor tiles, aluminium and steel window- and doorframes, glass, etc. Building structures without crawlspaces is a suitable construction method, since no water or pollutants will remain captured below the structure. Using these materials and construction methods makes it possible for buildings to become functional again relatively quickly after having been flooded; the only work that needs to be done after a flood is cleaning, painting and perhaps replacing damaged inventory. This solution is fairly common in many areas along large rivers.

Important factors to bear in mind are that the construction elements must be able to withstand water pressure or current and that the water must be able to run off or be pumped away easily.

Dry proof, splitlevel aquarium glass © TU Delft, Xplorelab
Dry proof, splitlevel waterproof wall © TU Delft, Xplorelab