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BSI Kitemark


New Academic Medical Centre, New York City

SAFB installed to protect Kimmel Pavilion

Click through the gallery of images above.



long Self Activating Flood Barrier


turn included

Following the successful installation of a 30m long Self Activating Flood Barrier to protect Phase One of this Academic Medical Centre complex, the UK Flood Barriers team embarked upon Phase 2 of the project – the installation of a 68m long Barrier to protect another key location of this new facility. 

This new academic medical centre has been designed to provide both staff and patients alike with the most innovative, state of the art academic facilities available anywhere in the world. the Medical Centre is set to open in 2018. 

It’s little wonder therefore that this innovative approach to the patient experience was adopted across all infrastructure elements with effective flood management high on the list of priorities from day one.

The need to make this critical public facility sustainable for the long term, enabling services to remain operational even in a serious flood situation was fundamental. It was, therefore, the passive, non-intrusive nature of the SAFB technology that made it a natural choice. 

Working with Commodore, our preferred US installation contractor & Turners, the main project contractor, UK Flood Barriers engineers designed a 68m long SAFB, the first ever that had to accommodate a 90-degree turn

Such a major project required intensive liaison between all contractors and sub-contractors and the UK Flood Barriers team provided their specialist flood expertise 24/7 be that in the UK or onsite in New York.  Adopting a ‘partnership’ approach with both Commodore and Turners teams was invaluable to the smooth delivery of the project.  

Like the SAFB recently installed to protect the first phase of the medical centre development, this wider design treatment is self-contained below ground when not in use making it vandal proof. It will provide 2.5m high flood protection, require minimal maintenance & will not restrict vehicular or pedestrian access.

First section of SAFB being installed

First section of the Self Activating Flood Barrier being installed.

Learning from the first installation, the UK Flood Barriers team recognised that an all-embracing delivery/logistics programme was crucial to delivering this project efficiently and effectively.

The Medical Centre’s location in the centre of New York City meant tight delivery schedules had to be adhered to. Manoeuvring the large barrier panels on to site whilst still maintaining full access to the rest of the building was particularly challenging. Working to a comprehensive logistics programme however, the team succeeded in installing the 68m long barrier in a little under 8 days

Another key challenge was the need to retain an important fire exit situated along the route of the barrier.

This was overcome by creating the Barrier in 3 sections – 2 large sections making up 66m of the total span and a separate 2m section designed to protect the fire exit.  Whilst all 3 sections will effectively operate ‘passively’ together in the event of a flood incident, the 2m section can also be operated manually for fire certificate testing purposes.  

Clearly, the entire design & installation had to adhere to stringent New York Building codes and given the building’s high level of vulnerability, the SAFB needed to meet hydrostatic and wave load protection standards.

Ensuring that the ‘local’ US installation team was appropriately trained and fully understood these nuances of effective flood defence was also a task that was successfully delivered on site by the UK Flood Barriers engineers. 

Working with the US manufacturers and suppliers and having UK Flood Barriers Design Engineers on the ground throughout the manufacture and installation ensured a smooth process from kick-off to final delivery.  


SAFB loaded to delivery to site in NYC

Barriers loaded for delivery

SAFB being transported to site in NYC

Barriers transported to NYC

SAFB being delivered to site in NYC

Barriers delivered to site

First section of SAFB in position to be installed

Installation works begin

First section of SAFB in position to be installed
Second section of SAFB being installed
SAFB's being installed

Frank and his team have been able to provide technical flood protection solutions, not previously available in the USA and we have already been involved in a major project in New
York City to provide flood protection major hospital facility in Manhattan, based on fully revised design flood levels mandated by FEMA since the major flooding events associated with Hurricane Sandy.

Paul Gildea, Senior Director - International
Langan International
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ISO 9001:2008

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Chas Accredited

Guarantee Protection through GGFI

Guarantee Protection through GGFI


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Pre-qualified construction services

UK Flood Partnership
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