First self-activating flood barrier installed in New York

UK Flood Barriers (UKFB) has installed the first self-activating flood barrier in New York to protect the brand new New York University Kimmel science block and medical centre on the banks of Manhattan's Hudson river

Having already established itself as a national and international player delivering major commercial projects across the UK and Europe, the UKFB team was engaged in 2016 by US contractor, Turner Construction to install the self-activating barrier at the university site. 

UKFB chief executive Frank Kelly, who founded the company less than ten years ago, said: “I’m proud to be partnering with US manufacturers and suppliers to introduce this world-beating British technology to the US flood mitigation sector.”

NYU Langone Medical Center is a premier academic medical centre that is associated with New York University. As part of the campus transformation project, the NYU Langone’s science building is a new facility encompassing more than 365,000 square feet and 10 floors of laboratory space dedicated to medical research.

Over the past month, a 30m-wide self-activating flood barrier was installed at the science building. “The passive barrier, designed by UKFB and manufactured in New York State, will be ready to deploy at all times, providing 2.5m high flood protection to the main entrance of the new building,” said Kelly. “The barrier is self-contained underground when not in use, bringing the benefits of minimal maintenance, being vandal proof, having no restrictions to vehicle or pedestrian access and having no costly storage and delivery charges in times of flood,” explained Kelly.

The project has been several years in planning and getting UKFB involved in the early design stage allowed the building’s foundations to be designed to include the installation of the self-activating flood barrier. A second 68m-wide barrier is also being installed at NYU Langone Kimmel Pavilion, a new state of the art hospital/medical facility due to open in 2018.

The success of the project has led to UKFB setting up a US arm of its business, US Flood Barriers. “The company will work in the US, partnering with US manufacturers and suppliers, to bring our world-beating technology to the forefront of US flood mitigation,” said Kelly, “so we are now proud to be able to state ‘made in America’,” he said.

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