Wells-Next-The-Sea Glass Flood Wall - Case Study

Wells-Next-The-Sea Glass Floodwall Installation

Wooden flood protection -beforeGlass flood protection - after 

In June 2012 Flood Control International and the Environment Agency (EA) completed the Wells Floodboard Replacement Scheme, with the installation of a new 1m high glass flood wall and sliding gate.

The existing 80m long flood defence comprised a low brick wall and an 18m long sliding barrier which were both topped with heavy timber floorboards which were installed in October and removed in April each year. The boards were very heavy, prone to rot and the 6-monthly lifting operation time consuming.  When installed, the oak boards had a significant negative visual impact on the whole area.

Flood Control International worked closely with the Environment Agency’s Technical Support Team to design a solution that would provide an effective flood defence to the area, whilst maintaining the view across the harbour permanently, protecting 500 properties. Norman Lamb, North Norfolk MP, said it was an "asset for the town. The new defences have transformed the quay and will be a real asset for the town," he said.

The solution utilised marine grade stainless steel supports and frames that were designed to sit over the existing post fixings, and toughened glass panels up to 4.2m long and 1m high, treated with a self-cleaning coating which requires minimal maintenance. 

The design allows for impact loading as well as full hydrostatic pressure and showcases Flood Control International’s ingenuity in providing dependable flood protection solutions that meet every specific aspect of a client’s brief.

The glazed barrier sits on top of both the wall and the sliding barrier, with special posts fabricated so that when the sliding barrier is closed, there is a seamless watertight junction, completing the defence.

The smooth line of the barrier and the maximised glazed area mean that the end result is a most attractive solution, providing effective permanent flood protection with the minimal visual intrusion.  The Environment Agency considered the scheme “a major improvement for the local area”, and that it would represent “a significant saving in time and safety for our EA field team members, as the scheme eliminates all future lifting operations”.

The £116,000 installation was undertaken by the EA’s own staff with Flood Control International technical representatives attending site to ensure the operation went smoothly and the project was completed on programme and to budget.

Flood Control International’s Managing Director Tim Collingwood was particularly pleased with the outcome of the project. “Our flexible design allowed us to re-utilise the existing fixings in the wall whilst creating a smooth line that enhances the visual amenity of the area.  The new barrier provides permanent flood protection with minimal operational costs to maintain.  Effective team-working and liaison with the Environment Agency staff allowed us to meet all of the project goals for both parties.”

Harbour master Robert Smith said, "All the comments I've heard from tourists have said how good they look."

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