With the south of England experiencing terrible floods that are affecting many thousands of people, and a natural discussion about how to plan for the future, given that extremes in weather seems to be becoming more prevalent around the world, perhaps England should look at what other countries do and see if there are lessons to be learnt? This would take a radical shift in traditional building techniques, attitudes and building regulations. A Vietnamese firm H&P Architects has developed a design for affordable housing that accepts the inevitability of flooding in southeast Asia with homes to be constructed from local sustainable bamboo built on platforms made from reused oil-drums held in place by anchors allowing the houses to rise and fall with the floods. Is it so far fetched to think of a future design of buildings with, say, timber-framed housing in threatened areas designed to have a similar ability to rise and fall should floods occur? Perhaps the Environment Agency could sponsor a design competition for innovative and imaginative ideas?