Flooding and extreme weather events have been increasing in frequency and severity in recent years. Coastal Risk and its Strategic Partners can help commercial real estate investors and owners make their high value properties more resilient to future climate impacts through “Flood Protection as a Service” – a 6 step process of risk identification, needs analysis, adaptation actions, insurance premium reductions, bank financing and ongoing maintenance.
What is “Flood Protection as a Service” and how does it work?
Phase 1 – Flood and Climate Risk Assessments™ (FCRA) by Coastal Risk
Phase 2 – Engineering Evaluations of Risks and Solutions
Phase 3 – Identification of Specific Adaptation and Resilience Projects and Costs
Phase 4 – Flood Insurance Premium Reductions
Phase 5 – Bank Financing
Phase 6 – Implementation and Maintenance of Flood & Climate defenses
PHASE 1 – FLOOD RISK ASSESSMENT
The initial, property-specific Flood and Climate Risk Assessment™ examines nine separate flood and climate impact risk factors and calculates the risk of three types of flooding, now, and into the future: (1) tidal flooding and sea level rise; (2) storm surge; and, (3) heavy rainfall/high groundwater. The Report utilizes LIDAR high-resolution, elevation data for greater accuracy. The Flood and Climate Risk Assessment™ examines the location, frequency and depth of flooding at the building site, the surrounding grounds within the property boundary, as well as adjacent roadways (site ingress and egress).
Once the Report is complete and moderate or significant risks have been identified, the Project goes into Phase 2. The Flood and Climate Risk Assessment™ starts the conversation about flood risks and what to do about them.
Phase 1 could also include a preliminary step to identify specific high-risk properties via Coastal Risk’s ‘Batch Scoring’ of multiple properties for entire real estate portfolios.
PHASE 2 – ENGINEERING EVALUATIONS OF RISKS AND SOLUTIONS
Phase 2 involves a detailed understanding of the building’s elevations and other factors impacting Flood & Climate risks. This includes:
• Base floor elevation – lobby level
• Sub-floor openings and spaces, such as: vents, grates, parking garages, mechanical rooms, etc.
• Ground level parking and walkways
• Ingress and egress – vehicles and pedestrians
• Sea walls, levees and other existing barrier systems
• Ground-level amenities, such as green space, pools, tennis, golf, etc.
Based on the Flood and Climate Risk Assessment™ in Phase 1, the flood risks to the various high value property elements are carefully evaluated by engineering staff, who present and discuss cost-effective flood prevention options.
As an additional option, Phase 2 can examine flood-related systems failures that may impact the building and its operations. Building Owners and Managers may assign representatives from IT, electrical operations, and building maintenance to identify vulnerabilities from extreme weather and tidal flooding and resulting system failures. Also, in Phase 2, the engineering evaluation will examine the interface between short-term, “no regrets” improvements to the building and public infrastructure measures that local governments are planning to address street-level flooding issues. (See Climate Ready Boston Plan).
PHASE 3 – IDENTIFICATION OF SPECIFIC ADAPTATION AND RESILIENCE PROJECTS AND COSTS
In Phase 3, the engineer engages with various flood products companies to obtain specific cost proposals to address the building’s current and future flood risks. These may include: removable or retractable permanent flood barriers at basement and other openings; dry flood-proofing; and sump-pumps where needed. Once these proposals are obtained, then, the engineer will discuss the timing and costs of alternative options with the client.
Which Flood Defense system is right for your property?
PHASE 4 – FLOOD INSURANCE PREMIUM REDUCTIONS
During Phase 4, Coastal Risk will facilitate engagement with client’s or Coastal Risk insurance partners to discuss present and future flood insurance rates, with and without the proposed risk mitigation actions.
Finally, a Return on Investment (ROI) analysis of alternative flood and climate adaptation options considering the implementation cost versus future economic benefits (including insurance savings) of each option, is performed with the client. An optimum climate adaptation solution will then result based on the ROI calculation and client’s risk tolerance.
PHASE 5 – BANK FINANCING
In Phase 5, financing options may be explored. Certain lenders have expressed interest in financing flood control measures for commercial buildings in coastal areas. Bank financing may enable the Building Owner/Manager to implement cost-effective, flood protections, with little or no up-front, capital costs and reasonable monthly payments.
PHASE 6 - IMPLEMENTATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE PROJECTS
Implementation and maintenance of the projects will involve engineering supervision and construction management. The services would be provided on a “design/build” basis, providing oversight of both design and general contracting. There are also nationally-recognized, building maintenance vendors who are competent to properly maintain and test the flood control flood control equipment on a regular basis (and, over the life of the building), to make sure that they are operational when needed.
Flooding has already affected thousands of commercial buildings in the coastal areas of the US. Many buildings have already suffered flood damages and business interruptions. Now, it is quite clear that flood days are increasing each year. The impacts of storms and heavy rainfall in coastal areas are greater than ever before, because there are more and more days when sea water is already at or above the ground level. Consequently, storm water and rainfall have no room to drain and, flooding increases. The need for the new, Flood Protection as a Service™ has never been greater. Protect your building from flooding and protect its market value.