Award Winning Flood-Prone House Design

We at dion seminara architecture have just been awarded first place in the L J Hooker Grantham Flood Home Design Competition.

dion seminara architecture Wins Prestigious Flood-Prone House Design Award

We generally don’t give much thought to competitions as our primary focus is on our clients’ lifestyle needs, not what it will take to win an award. But this was different with the challenge being to create a house design for flood-prone areas.

The details regarding the competition criteria and our award-winning home design for flood-prone areas is provided below. However, I would first like to share what I have learnt from this experience, regarding home designs, and how this knowledge could be used for your home if you live (or plan to live) in a flood-prone area and are seeking a flood-prone house design.

Flood Zone House Designs

Firstly an architecturally designed house for flood-prone areas does not have to be built at an exorbitant cost. There are building materials, building styles and techniques which if used within your flood-prone house design can provide you with a home which is both flood proof and also economical.

The flood house design that won us the award incorporates lightweight building materials that are not only cost-effective but are also durable and have climatic benefits, an unbeatable combination.

As you would expect the flood-prone house design we created and would recommend was built on posts such that the living and sleeping areas were and would be raised to the flood level, to the height required. For the non-elevated areas, the design provides for garaging and also multi-purpose rooms. Again specific building materials would be utilised that would allow for quick cleanup in the event of a flood, and minimal damage would be incurred.

Interconnecting Pavilion Home Design

Part of what we consider to be optimal for home designs in flood-prone areas is a series of pavilions each catering for different lifestyle and family needs. Another excellent advantage of this design style is that future expansion of the home (when more funds are available, or living needs change) is the easy incorporation into the home design of additional further interlocking pavilions elevated on poles in the same design.

Finally, we at dion seminara architecture design homes that not only cater for the environment in which they are placed but also take advantage of what nature provides. Thus our eco-friendly designs create wonderful homes to live in, have less impact on the environment, have lower running costs and are also very durable. While we custom design homes (in and out of flood zones) to provide our clients with the home of their dream, we can create from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

The L J Hooker Competition

The L J Hooker Grantham Affordable Flood Home Design Competition was for ‘a family home that has been designed for a site that potentially could be inundated with flood waters’. More importantly, this design was going to be built and given to a Grantham resident who had lost their home in the tragic floods that devastated that township in January 2011.

Aside from coming up with the best possible design for this Grantham home, the purpose of the competition was also to identify an architect who could:

  • Work with the Future Housing Taskforce (FHTF), Lockyer Valley Council and stakeholders to develop an appropriate response to their needs and desires;
  • Achieve a cost-effective design;
  • Develop a project that demonstrates the successful integration of flood resistant, energy efficient and sustainable design;
  • Achieve design excellence.

A panel of various housing, development, council and architectural experts judged the designs, with the winning design selected after much deliberation and the jury following a progressive elimination until consensus on a winner was reached.

So as you can see not only was competition fierce, the evaluation process was particularly rigorous.

Our Winning Flood House Design Formula

With the recent floods still being top of people’s minds, there were a lot of architects submitting flood zone house designs. Flood-prone house designs in Brisbane is something that I have been thinking about for a while now, so I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve with my design submission.

My design was based on the property being flooded and the owner not being able to do anything to stop the water getting in. Based on that some of the key elements of my design were:

Our concept house is designed to be a flood free home able to be located in a variety of locations at an affordable price:-

  • Our concept flood zone house design gives flexibility by creating a multipurpose zone at ground level for vehicles or storage. This space will have the capacity to be cleared when flooding occurs and easily cleaned down after a flood event.
  • Our concept house allows for a variety of flood levels as determined by each local authority.
  • Our concept house is to be built in a controlled factory environment where the house can be transported to site in 2 parts down the middle with connection done on site this means the building construction can be controlled and cost limited where possible. This will also allow for mass production.
  • Our concept house is based on the use of lightweight building materials for climatic benefits for the occupants and transportation benefits which will, in turn, achieve affordable outcomes.
  • Our concept house would be built on posts so the design can fit onto any slope.
  • Our concept house will be able to expand through inter-linking pavilion additions.
  • Our concept house will have large screened awnings to capture all natural ventilation for privacy. The large eave overhangs will provide shelter and screening to upper-level bedroom windows. The main awning around the first-floor level can be used as a platform for solar panel and hot water systems.
  • All materials would be low maintenance, sustainable and environmentally friendly. Aesthetically the house design for flood-prone areas house will blend with the surroundings whether they’re bush settings or urban.

A Sense of Pride

The L J Hooker Grantham Flood Home Design Competition is a prestigious award to win, and we are very proud to have won it.

We are proud that not only have we created a beautiful, eco-friendly flood-prone house design for someone from Grantham who lost so much in the floods, but we have also created a design that is certain to become the benchmark for future home designs in flood-prone areas throughout Queensland.

It is possible that when the next major flood event occurs – hopefully not for many years to come – that the flood-prone house design and variations of it, may save thousands of people from suffering the heartache that so many have had to endure from the 2011 floods.

It’s humbling to win an award such as this, but as much as it fills us with a sense of pride, it means more to dion seminara architecture that our design is set to become the standard that all others are judged.

So if you or someone you know lives in an area that might be prone to future flooding, feel free to give us a call, knowing that you are dealing with the best in the business.

Press coverage regarding the Award and Design

flood-prone house design


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