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Sims Municipal Recycling
Elevating a building above base flood elevation (BFE) is an effective way to provide protection from storm-related flooding, as well as flooding from high tide due to sea level rise. A building can be raised above base flood elevation by usingfill to elevate the building or to reshape the entire building site’s topography. Due to the significant modifications needed to bring the building site above BFE, elevating a building on fill is much more difficult for retrofits. Proper elevation of a site may provide reductions in flood insurance premiums—or even entirely remove the site from the flood zone by obtaining a letter of map revision.
While elevating a building site above BFE will provide protection from some flooding, it will not protect the site from wave action, which may scour the fill. As a result, FEMA does not permit the use of structural fill in V zones. Elevation of sites over three feet is not recommended, as channelization can occur and flooding of adjacent, lower areas could be exacerbated. Proper assessment and mitigation of potential negative effects on the surrounding area as a result of site elevation should be considered. If the building site is not completely elevated over BFE, additional floodproofing measures can be utilized to maximize flood protection. A significant portion of the additional cost of elevating a building on fill stems from the fill itself. Use of recycled materials in the fill can help to reduce costs.
Potential regulatory touchpoints in Boston and Massachusetts include:
Note: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) does not permit elevation of building sites on fills in V zones.