Arup has launched the Resilience-Based Design Initiative (REDi™) for Flood, the most recent in the REDi suite of resilience-based design guidelines, outlining design and planning strategies for building owners to combat and quickly recover from extreme flooding and sea level rise.

REDi for Flood extends beyond building code requirements to protect buildings and recover functionality quickly after flood events. Following the prescriptive building design, planning, and risk assessment criteria outlined in REDi for Flood ensures structures are prepared to withstand the growing frequency and intensity of flooding events, a consequence of climate change.

Initially launched in 2013 for earthquakes and in 2022 for extreme wind, the REDi guidelines are intended to act as a companion to modern building codes, which often lag behind best-available science and are not designed for resilience against future events with climate change considered. The REDi guidelines enable designers to achieve beyond-code resilience objectives specifically related to restoring building functionality and occupancy.

Each set of guidelines is framed around four pillars of resilience-based design — Operational Resilience, Building Resilience, Site Resilience, and Resilience Assessment — which enable owners and designers to deliver buildings which better withstand and recover quickly from natural hazards. The guidelines also outline three rating tiers — Silver, Gold, and Platinum — each representing increasing levels of performance during and after events. Platinum- and Gold-rated buildings are designed to be relatively undamaged after major natural disaster events, and Silver-rated buildings are expected to sustain some damage but are designed with measures in place to hasten recovery.

REDi for Flood considers several types of flooding hazards, including coastal (and sea level rise), stormwater (pluvial), and riverine (fluvial). The future 500-yr flood is used as the basis of design, and impacts from related hazards, like levee failures and debris flows, are considered.

This guideline also supports design teams in implementing the following resilient design considerations:

  • Elevating critical equipment and utility connections

  • Specifying flood-resistant finishes and materials

  • Developing staffing plan during extreme flood events

REDi for Flood, as well as REDi for Extreme Windstorms and the original REDi for Earthquakes guidelines, can be viewed on the REDi website, which can be found here. These guidelines support REDi’s mission to make resilient design standards mainstream. REDi aims to transform the way resilience is measured and implemented in the built environment, lower the barrier to entry for developers, architects, and engineers, and help owners achieve their organizational resilience goals. 

Find out more about REDi

REDi for Flood is our next step in moving the broader design and construction industry towards holistic resilience. By utilizing the REDi guidelines, we are providing designers and building owners a blueprint to achieve much greater confidence in protecting buildings and the core services within them. 

Ibbi Almufti


REDi for Flood fills a critical gap in conventional building codes and design criteria which often neglect both climate change and resilience measures leading to unnecessary losses and excessive recovery efforts.

Jack Hogan

Senior Climate Change Risk and Resilience Engineer