20 May 2009

Water management

How can an island nation that is known for its rain not have absolutely mastered rain handling and dampness prevention? Houses have problems with damp walls all the time, and water seems to find its way into buildings from all sorts of sources. And we're not just talking about homes here-- I've actually witnessed first-hand buckets placed on the floor of Heathrow Airport to catch water that was leaking in through the ceiling. Two different modern office buildings I've worked in had water problems, one through the roof and the other through an atrium. And in any DIY store you can find a wealth of products for managing water. In a sign that many folks have given up, a lot of those products simply absorb dampness-- instead of keeping the water out, you just minimize the impact once it's gotten in.

For me, this just does not compute. The Romans' presence in England included the construction of the baths and temple in the city of Bath back in 60-70 A.D. These baths included steam rooms, plunge pools, and and all manner of sophisticated ducting and drainage systems. Handling water was a Roman area of expertise, and the Romans covered the UK. Given this long history with managing water, I'm at a loss in understanding how it's still so flawed today.

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