Sunday, June 01, 2008

Is your garden office a flood risk?

That's the key question posed by Huma Qureshi in The Observer. The argument goes that impermeable foundations may be putting their properties at risk of flooding by reducing their gardens' capacity to absorb water and increasing surface run-off. Matt Owen, spokesman for Direct Line, is quoted as saying:
"Homeowners should be fully aware of the implications of their garden improvements and choose their materials accordingly. The most worrying impact of a decline in garden space could be an increase in flash floods, as there is less green land to soak up rainwater. If you pave large areas with solid concrete surfaces, you will prevent rainwater from seeping into the ground and encourage faster run-off into an already pressured drainage system, increasing the risk of flooding during heavy rain."


  1. Anonymous2:48 AM

    Abstractly, there an element of truth there, but realistically, it's questionable whether one 80 to 120 square-foot structure on a concrete pad on the average residential lot could affect a watershed. Maybe if everyone in Christendom built one . . .

    On the other hand, in karst country, disturbing a specific waterflow can have serious implications. New subsidences or sinkholes are often the result of even minor changes in a drainage.

    Ya pays yur money and ya takes yur chances, I guess.

    Bill D

  2. Anonymous5:03 PM

    InsideOut garden offices sit on four or six concrete pile foundations [nominally 90 cubic cm] and hence have very little environmnetal impact. The foundations can be raised if their is any fear of flooding and water can drain underneath the building.