Articles | Volume 16, issue 6
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 1351–1368, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-16-1351-2016
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 1351–1368, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-16-1351-2016

Research article 14 Jun 2016

Research article | 14 Jun 2016

3-D hydrodynamic modelling of flood impacts on a building and indoor flooding processes

Bernhard Gems1, Bruno Mazzorana2, Thomas Hofer3, Michael Sturm1, Roman Gabl1, and Markus Aufleger1 Bernhard Gems et al.
  • 1Unit of Hydraulic Engineering, Institute for Infrastructure Engineering, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, 6020, Austria
  • 2Institute of Environmental and Evolutive Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, 14101, Chile
  • 3MWV Bauingenieure AG, Baden, 5400, Switzerland

Abstract. Given the current challenges in flood risk management and vulnerability assessment of buildings exposed to flood hazards, this study presents three-dimensional numerical modelling of torrential floods and its interaction with buildings. By means of a case study application, the FLOW-3D software is applied to the lower reach of the Rio Vallarsa torrent in the village of Laives (Italy). A single-family house on the flood plain is therefore considered in detail. It is exposed to a 300-year flood hydrograph. Different building representation scenarios, including an entire impervious building envelope and the assumption of fully permeable doors, light shafts and windows, are analysed. The modelling results give insight into the flooding process of the building's interior, the impacting hydrodynamic forces on the exterior and interior walls, and further, they quantify the impact of the flooding of a building on the flow field on the surrounding flood plain. The presented study contributes to the development of a comprehensive physics-based vulnerability assessment framework. For pure water floods, this study presents the possibilities and limits of advanced numerical modelling techniques within flood risk management and, thereby, the planning of local structural protection measures.

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Short summary
The presented study deals with numerical modelling of floods and their interactions with buildings. By means of a case study application, a commercial software is applied to simulate flooding within a test site situated in South Tyrol (Italy). A single-family house is thereby considered and exposed to specific flood discharges. The study shows possibilities and limits of numerical modelling techniques within flood risk management and, thereby, the planning of local structural protection measures.
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