‘Building design has to adapt to sea level rise, coastal flooding’

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on February 13, 2020

Rob Roggema, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands, has called for designing of buildings in anticipation of future weather extremes with water as a key element.

“Instead of fighting water, it is time we embraced the water. We have a design-led way to enhance adaptive capacity and deal with change,” he said quoting new elevation data which triple estimates of global vulnerability on sea level rise and coastal flooding.

He also suggested setting up of floating smart cities, floating farms, blue energy. Netherlands has already built 14 floating houses which can accommodate difference in water level up to 18 feet.

He was speaking at “ClimFishCon 2020”, the 4-day international conference on Impact of climate change on hydrological cycle, ecosystem, fisheries and food security which began here on Wednesday.

The recent deluge in Kerala has proved that traditional approaches are not sufficient to tackle storm surges and flood risk. Alternative thinking needs to be applied to create a more resilient future for low lying areas such as Kuttanad, he added.

The conference is jointly organised by the CUSAT School of Industrial Fisheries, and Department of Fisheries, Government of Kerala.

Inaugurating the conference, Justice Devan Ramachandran, Kerala High Court said that scientific studies invariably show that human activities have significantly contributed to climate change and global warming. “We are not still late. It is our collective and individual responsibility to fight climate change and leave the planet we inherited and hold in trust for future generations in a better shape,’ he said.

Given the vulnerability to extreme climatic events, he said designing, building and embracing sustainable ecosystem and resilient infrastructures are the only solution for survival. The designs and strategies to deal with extreme weather events in farmlands, cities and coastal belts may vary. But we all equally need climate resilient and responsive infrastructures at all levels which foresee, withstand and rapidly recover from disruptions caused by changing climatic conditions, he said.

Published on February 13, 2020

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