Long periods of continuous rain, followed by several days of sub-zero temperatures. In the report Irre? “It’s physics.” After the floods may come the cold – and that threatens the building fabric, reports DKKV member Norbert Gebbeken, an engineer and expert in prevention and disaster control, on the physical effects of the cold on buildings in flood regions. “When water freezes,” he says, “it expands by ten percent – and the expansion can generate such high pressure that material or components are destroyed.” He emphasizes that parts of buildings that are already wet are particularly at risk and susceptible to damage. Adequate adaptation to flood events is more important than ever, especially in construction planning. The example of the Ahr disaster shows how little is learned from such events and implemented for the future. Building up again in exactly the same way instead of implementing preventative measures. Gebbeken also refers to affordable compulsory insurance against natural hazards, which includes flood damage.

You can find the entire article in the feature section of Süddeutsche Zeit.