Important standards for flood protection

With the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, flood resilience is high on the political agenda. The Government published the Property Flood Resilience Action Plan in 2016 – an action plan to enable better uptake of resilience measures for properties at high flood risk.

BSI offers a suite of standards to help manage flood risk and increase resilience against flooding prior to and during development and construction. From flood risk analysis and the selection of appropriate risk management solutions to guidance on the appropriate materials to use in construction, our standards set out to ensure that properties are constructed with householder confidence in mind.

Important standards for flood protection:

BS 8533:2017
Maritime works – General. Code of practice for assessment of actions

BS 8533 gives recommendations and guidance on the appropriate assessment and management of flood risk where development is proposed in the UK. It's intended to provide developers and decision makers (local authorities and regulators), with practical assistance for dealing with flood risk in and around their development.

This standard will help you to analyse flood risk and to guide the selection of appropriate risk management solutions. The stage at which this guide is intended for use is after initial planning considerations pertaining to the development of the site have been applied, including the Sequential Test within England and the Justification Test within Wales, and after the need to carry out a flood risk assessment (referred to as a flood consequence assessment within Wales) has been established.


BS 85600:2017 
Post-event flood assessments. Guidance on investigating flooding incidents

BS 85600 provides recommendations and guidance on investigating floods and carrying out post-flood assessments. Guidance includes on investigating floods in accordance with the type and severity of flooding. It also gives recommendations on: 

  • Thresholds for different levels of investigation
  • The most useful information to collect
  • The organizations to contact to supply or corroborate information

BS 85500:2015 
Flood resistant and resilient construction. Guide to improving the flood performance of buildings

BS 85500 is a new standard developed to provide guidance to developers and designers on how to improve the flood resistance and resilience of buldings to reduce the impacts of flooding from all sources, by the use of suitable materials and construction details.

BS 85500:2015 has been developed to provide guidance to architects, engineers and developers on suitable materials and construction techniques for improving the resistance and resilience of buildings against flooding.


BS 8582:2013 
Code of practice for surface water management for development sites

BS 8582 gives recommendations on the planning, design, construction and maintenance of surface water management systems for new developments and redevelopment sites in; minimizing and/or mitigating flooding and other environmental risks arising from:

  • Site surface water run-off as a result of rain falling onto the development site
  • Run-off conveyed across or arising on the site from other sources

Maximizing the potential societal and environmental benefits arising from the:

  • Use of surface water run-off to protect and enhance local water resources and supplies
  • Contribution of surface water management systems in mitigating climate risks associated with urbanization
  • Integration of surface water management systems with planning processes and urban design in delivering amenity and community value and in repairing, protecting and enhancing landscape and/or townscape character 
  • Repair, protection and enhancement of biodiversity

Despite regional differences in approaches to flood risk management, this standard applies to all UK territories and all regional authorities. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were actively involved in writing this standard.

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