20 December 2016

Energy label for flood risk

man in kano in overstroomd gebied

Researchers from Utrecht University, together with a foreign research group, are developing a tool to inform homeowners about flood risks and to encourage them to use appropriate prevention measures. In the context of the European Innovation Programme "JPI Urban Europe", the team will receive a subsidy of more than 800,000 euro for this project.

Living in low-lying regions without flooding is one aspect of climate change. However, many homeowners have little or no awareness of the risks that living in such a place entails. At the same time, governments are increasingly reaching the limits of their possible intervention. Coproduction and action by governments and individual citizens seems to be the best strategy in such a situation, but it also requires willingness to take action.

Raising awareness
In order to develop and plan the FLOOD LABEL tool, co-production needs to be supported. Identical energy labels can be attached to individual buildings and flood labels can be awarded. This label does not only create more awareness among homeowners, but also provides a strategic link between the owners, municipalities, insurance companies and water authorities. The intention of the project is to develop a prototype of the FLOOD LABEL tool and test it in various policy contexts throughout Europe.

Working together nationally and internationally
To develop the FLOOD LABEL, Utrecht University planners Prof. Dr. Stan Geertman (PI), Dr. Patrick Witte and Dr. Thomas Hartmann are working together with universities in Austria, Belgium and Germany. Within its own borders, the university is working with Nelen & Schuurmans, an company based in Utrecht specialising in modeling water management measures. To scale up the results of the project, the team is also working with software company Vicrea Solutions from Amersfoort.