Flooding in downtown Annapolis, 2003. Photo from Climate Change Maryland.

New National Standards Announced for Flood Adaptations on Historic Buildings

01/03/2020
By Preservation Maryland

To address the increasing frequency of requests for technical guidelines on appropriate adaptations for historic buildings at risk of flooding, the National Park Service recently released a new resource for preservation practitioners.

The need for such a document is well-stated by the National Park Service, “Flooding risk has long been a major challenge for many historic properties. Changing weather patterns, stronger hurricanes and other extreme weather events, sea-level rise, increased nuisance flooding, king tides, and continuing development in flood plains are some of the factors increasing the risk of flooding events, both in terms of their frequency and magnitude. Some historic properties that have never flooded before may now be exposed to this risk, and those that flooded infrequently in the past may experience more instances of flooding or of water reaching higher levels than ever before.”

The goal of the Guidelines on Flood Adaptation for Rehabilitation Historic Buildings is to provide information about how to adapt historic buildings to be more resilient to flooding risk while also protecting and preserving their historic character.

The 59-page document is organized by adaptive treatment and range from minimal intervention to total building relocation, including temporary measures, landscape adaptations, dry and wet floodproofing, and a variety of options for ground floor occupation and use.

The guidelines are currently available as a PDF on the National Park Service website with an illustrated version scheduled to be issued in Fall 2020.

Additionally, the Maryland Historical Trust released a state-focused Flood Mitigation Guide and guidelines called Planning for Maryland’s Flood-Prone Archaeological Resources that are both available online.

Access the Guidelines

Our Flood Recovery Work in Ellicott City

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