Design principles of multifunctional flood defences

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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Multifunctional flood defences are structures that primarily protect land from being covered by water and simultaneously serve other purposes. The present dissertation focuses on the combination of flood protection with functions that are fulfilled by means of buildings and objects, with a high degree of structural integration. This can typically be found in the urban context, where the combination of long-term flood protection and spatial quality is considered crucial for the viability of cities along rivers and seas.

The design of multifunctional flood defences is more complicated than of plain flood defences, as two incompatible design cultures are involved: spatial design and hydraulic engineering. Moreover, the structural composition of multifunctional flood defences is more complex and more diverse than of plain flood defences. Therefore, an overall, integrated, design method was developed that maintains the strengths of both existing approaches, but avoids their weaknesses. In addition, a method is proposed for the design phase of verifying the flood protection function. The methods were validated by design teams of students and by additional case studies.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
  • Vrijling, J.K., Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date26 Jun 2017
Print ISBNs978-94-028-0678-6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • flood defences
  • multidisciplinary design
  • hydraulic engineering
  • integrated design

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