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A study of flood risk mitigation strategies in vernacular dwellings of Rathnapura, Sri Lanka

Authors:

K.A.C. Dilhani ,

University of Moratuwa, LK
About K.A.C.
Department of Architecture
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N. Jayaweera

University of Moratuwa, LK
About N.
Department of Architecture
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Abstract

This study examines the flood mitigation strategies in vernacular dwellings in the high flood risk district of Rathnupra, Sri Lanka. In order to mitigate flood risks, local communities have devised successful flood risk mitigation strategies especially in relation to construction of dwellings. However the adaptive capacity of the local people is not well understood as limited research has been conducted on their ability to mitigate flood risk.

This study consists of 15 case studies in three flood risk zonal categories of Rathnapura. The time period of construction of these dwellings span from 1800 to 2005, allowing the authors to conduct a chronological analysis of development of materials and construction practices in mitigating flood risk in Rathnapura. The study takes the new guidelines for flood risk mitigation in Rathnapura as a framework to analyze the vernacular knowledge demonstrated in the case studies. The planning, spatial configuration, and construction methods were documented for the 15 case studies. The study concludes that the single-storey dwelling constructed in the 1800 and early 1900 demonstrate many of the flood mitigation features required by modern guidelines. The study also emphasizes the lack of attention to services such as plumbing and electricity in the case studies as well as in the modern guidelines.

How to Cite: Dilhani, K.A.C. & Jayaweera, N., (2016). A study of flood risk mitigation strategies in vernacular dwellings of Rathnapura, Sri Lanka. Built-Environment Sri Lanka. 12(1), pp.1–9. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/besl.v12i1.7611
Published on 24 May 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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