ANR project DEUFI (DEtailing Urban Flood Impact)



Although urban floods were largely investigated, the flow exchanges between streets and buildings are not documented in the laboratory and seldom in the field. DEUFI project will fill this gap focusing on the hydraulic processes inside and outside one building and assessing how this knowledge can be useful to estimate and reduce damages and fatalities.

Three scales are investigated for hydrodynamics purposes:

  • the facade (including one or several openings such as doors, gates…). At the facade scale, the calculation of the flow discharge through the openings is emphasized being the first step to evaluate the influence of these exchanges.
  • the block (built-up area surrounded by streets and including one or several buildings). At the block scale, the difference between flood hazard inside and outside the building is put forward particularly for damage assessment but the opening is also creating a disturbance in the flood hazard in the neighbouring streets, which may be important for safety evaluation.
  • the district (including several streets and a lot of blocks).At the district scale, one investigates the flow propagation and its uncertainty because of the exchange between streets and buildings but also because of other factors; strategy for flood management should be elaborated from results at that scale.

Information provided at one of these scales permits to estimate the level of risk and to take decisions about flood risk management at the individual or collective scales.

DEUFI project is structured in three work packages combining hydraulics, damage estimation and citizen approaches:

  • laboratory experiments (WP1):WP1 gathers three sets of laboratory experiments using existing facilities and dealing with urban flow patterns at the facade, block and district scales respectively
  • field cases (WP2): WP2 focuses on two field cases in order to apply the developed methods on real configurations that differ by the geographical environment (origin of flooding, slopes …). WP2 groups the development of tools (software, data base …) at the field scale and the application of these tools on the two field cases in view of evaluating the relevancy for local stakeholdersand
  • hydrodynamic models (WP3): WP3 develops hydrodynamic models that permit to pass from the laboratory scale to the field scale, validates them against WP1 results and compares their efficiency to produce results on the field cases useful for local stakeholders.

DEUFI project will end-up with improved urban flood simulation methods capable of :

  • estimating the flow intrusion within built-up areas,
  •  evaluating the spatial distribution of human exposure and material damage and
  •  proposing best-practice recommendations, in relation with the citizen perception and behaviour during short duration high floods.

DEUFI project partners are:

  • RiverLy, research unit of Irstea
  • Artelia  Eau & Environnement, Water Resources and Modelling Branch
  • Cerema, Technical Division for Water, Sea and Waterways
  • G-Eau (UMR Gestion de l’Eau, Acteurs Usages)
  • GRED (UMR Gouvernance Risques Environnement Développement),  IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement) and University of Montpellier 3
  • Icube laboratory (UMR 7357, Laboratoire des sciences de l’ingénieur, de l’informatique et de l’imagerie)
  • INSA Lyon, LMFA laboratory (UMR 5509, Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides et d’Acoustique)
  • KICT (Korea Institute of Construction and Building Technology), Technical division for hydro science and engineering research
  • University of Liège (Belgium), Research unit Urban & Environmental Engineering (UEE), Hydraulics in Environmental and Civil Engineering (HECE)


To know more about DEUFI: here