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Flood Risks to Historic Structures

August 26 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Overdevelopment, sea level rise, and increased precipitation associated with climate change are increasing the frequency and severity of coastal, riverine, and urban flood hazards. Compounding this issue, historic buildings located on sites that are susceptible to flooding often also contain numerous vulnerabilities to heighten the risk of substantial flood-related damage.

However, conventional flood mitigation measures can create significant preservation challenges, and flood mitigation guidance may conflict with established preservation guidelines. For example, floodproofing or elevating an existing building may require substantial modification to the original structure or building materials to be feasible – all in conflict with typical preservation guidelines to maintain original features as much as possible.

Owners, designers, and preservationists must understand current and future flood hazards, even in previously unaffected areas, and be equipped with the necessary knowledge to determine practical options for mitigating flood risks and recovering from flood events.

In this session, we will discuss sources of flood risk and explore historical and contemporary flood mitigation solutions within the context of historic preservation and increasing flood resilience. We will also explore the actions local communities and governments are taking to address this problem and how regulation changes impact historic preservation projects.


Adam Rush, P.E. 

Senior Consulting Engineer | Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (a DCPL Business Member)

Adam Rush has extensive structural engineering experience managing condition assessment, renovation, adaptive reuse, and historic preservation projects involving vital structures at risk of flood damage. He is an active member in the Association for Preservation Technology (APT) and served as the President of the organization’s Washington, DC chapter in 2013.


Register here!

Free & Open to the Public


August 26
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm