Flood-resistant house can keep high and dry

Flood-resistant house can keep high and dry
Flood-resistant house can keep high and dry

As we look to what's ahead for 2012, Property Observer is republishing some of our most noteworthy stories of 2011.


A three-bedroom pre-built home on stilts costing less than $200,000 will be showcased as a solution to dealing with the threat facing properties in flood-prone regions.

The model home will be promoted to governments and consumers as an affordable and appropriate form of construction in flood-prone areas.

Designed by Brisbane architect Dion Seminara, it was the winning entry of the LJ Hooker Flood Home Design Competition, which was co-sponsored by L J Hooker, industry think tank the Future Housing Task Force and the Australian Institute of Architects’ Archicentre.

It comes in the wake of the wake of the December 2010/January 2011 Queensland floods and cyclone, which left the state with a $6.8 billion damage bill, and a report by the Australian Department of Climate Change that says up to $63 billion worth of existing residential buildings are at risk of flooding this century.

The house features a flood clearance level of 4.5 metres above the first floor, allowing floodwater to flow through the building without placing pressure on the structure.

The ground floor is constructed out of materials and finishes that can be hosed down without damage and is suitable for both urban and bush environments.

The home is designed to be built offsite and transported in two parts.

“One of the main aims of the design was to provide for an easy clean-up after the flood, with a flexible multipurpose use of the ground level for vehicles or storage,” Seminara says.

“The concept home is built on posts, making it suitable for any sloping site, and has the flexibility to be expanded through interlocking pavilion extensions.”

Besides these features, Seminara’s winning entry also met the following requirements:

  • Successfully integrate flood resistant, energy efficient and sustainable design.
  • Meet or provide a well-substantiated challenge to requirements set by the Building Code of Australia along with local and statutory authorities.
  • Provide three bedrooms and not exceed 220 square metres in size.
  • Provide undercover accommodation for two cars.
  • Be able to be constructed on a site with up to a 1:4 slope.
  • Be built from 80% lightweight materials.
  • Have a construction budget not exceeding $200,000, excluding consultants and authorities fees and permits, site preparation costs, service connections, site allowances, landscaping works and contingency.

According to Climate Change Risks to Australia’s Coast, published by the Australian Department of Climate Change as many as 247,600 individual buildings are potentially at risk of inundation in Australia this century.

The winning design will be built as a demonstration project by Ken Mitchell, director of the Queensland Lifestyle Development Group.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer


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