This Briefing Paper along with an on-demand webinar were written and presented by Kent Holland for Zurich North America Insurance.   The paper and webinar are available by clicking below on the Continue Reading link.

As storms seem to be increasing in severity, and areas that were previously flooded once per hundred years are now being flooded multiple times in just a few years, design professionals may be held to an enhanced standard of care to consider the foreseeable risk of damages that can result from failure to design to mitigate flood loss and damages. Is resiliency against flood damages such an important obligation that a design professional must design for it based on current science and the evidence at hand even if the law, regulations and government agencies are not requiring it?

As discussed in this briefing paper and webinar, regulations and codes don’t set the limit on what is required when it comes to a design professional’s duty of care – but merely the floor.

When the facts in the air and on the ground demonstrate that areas will be flooded every few years instead of every 100 or 500 years as predicted by current FEMA maps, does a design professional have a duty to design to mitigate against the damages of the more severe and frequent floods? If it is well-known that there is a high likelihood of flooding in an area, and that damages from such flooding could be significantly mitigated or reduced by elevating all new construction several feet, would the professional standard of care render a design professional liable for damages that could have been avoided if it had specified that foundations be built to higher elevations?

There is likely to be an increasing amount of litigation against design professionals for damages that could have been avoided through prudent flood resistant design.

Watch this recent Zurich webinar here by entering this password and registering: b762-Rc$

Read the paper here


This article is published in Report, Vol. 20, No. 8 (Sep 2018).

Copyright 2018, ConstructionRisk, LLC