Brisbane home designs for flood prone properties

Brisbane home designs for flood prone properties

Renovations, Tips and Advice, Lifestyle, New Homes, Buying a Home

brisbane home designs for flood prone properties award flood free designThere’s no doubt that we live in a beautiful part of the world but unfortunately South East Queensland, and in particular large parts of Brisbane and the surrounding suburbs, are prone to flooding, which is why so many people are searching for Brisbane home designs for flood prone properties.

At dion seminara architecture we specialise in creating Brisbane home designs for flood prone properties. Whether you’re looking at building a new home or renovating your current property if your site is situated on or near a stormwater overflow path or has the potential to be affected by tidal surges Dion Seminara and his team are the people you need to speak to.

When considering home designs for flood prone properties in and around Brisbane there are two main options open to us. These are a) to try and stop the water from entering the property or b) create a home that is designed to cope with flood inundation.

Brisbane home designs for flood prone properties – how to stop water getting in

This is the harder of the two options. Flood waters often have incredible power, particularly those running through stormwater overflow paths. Often debris is carried along with these water surges which when combined with the force and weight of the water itself can place tremendous strain on anything in their way. And then there’s the not so small matter of how high the water is going to reach.

So short of creating a huge dam wall around your property you might be wondering how you can possibly keep the water out.

Well the one way that it can be done is to actually do just that – to create in effect a waterproof wall around your property.

Now obviously a great big dirty wall or concrete dam isn’t practical, but it might be possible to turn the fence around your property into a water proof barrier.

The downsides of this, however, are numerous. Firstly, depending on your existing fence design it can be very expensive to redo your entire perimeter fence, particularly as the fence not only needs to be waterproof but it also needs to be structurally sound enough to withstand an enormous amount of pressure if it’s not to collapse under the potential weight of the water.

Secondly, there will need to be gaps in the fence/wall to allow cars to enter and exit the property. This can be offset by having some form of an emergency barrier which blocks those gates and driveways off during a flooding event or you could even use sandbags given that the openings are relatively small in the overall scheme of things.

But whilst there are some drawbacks to this solution it is an option for most Brisbane properties. However, even with a barrier in place, there is still the potential for flood inundation in cases where the waters might rise above the height of your wall or due to some unforeseen impact the wall itself is breached.

Designing a home to cope with flooding

A better option in many cases isn’t trying to keep the water out, it is instead accepting that the water will get in and creating a home design that can cope with that eventuality.

This option is very cost effective in terms of construction costs. Materials are carefully selected and building techniques are used that keep costs down while providing a home that is built to handle getting wet inside and out.

Obviously, you don’t want your main living and bedroom areas getting wet, which is why a home that is designed to withstand inundation needs to be built up off the ground on posts. Designed as a series of pavilions this design keeps the important areas of the home up out of harm’s way. The downstairs areas can then be used as a garage and multi-purpose room, with anything of value being moved upstairs in the event of a flood.

The selection of materials for Brisbane home designs for flood prone properties is quite important. They need to be strong enough to withstand the potential impact and weight of the water whilst allowing for a quick clean-up after the event. Some of the materials will need to be replaced after the event, but a home that is well designed will keep these to a minimum and they will generally be inexpensive to replace, like plasterboard etc.

Talk to the specialists

We mentioned earlier that we are the specialists when it comes to flood proof house designs for Brisbane properties. Proof of this is evident in the fact that our home design won the prestigious L J Hooker Grantham Flood Home Design Competition that was held following the terrible floods of 2011. We have also consulted on flood resistant home designs in New York following the flooding that was caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

So if your property is situated on or near a stormwater overflow path, or is at risk of inundation due to rising rivers, creeks or tidal surges, contact dion seminara architecture today. The reality is that it’s not a matter of if your property will be affected but when. Contact us and let us create a design solution for you that keeps your loved ones and your possessions safe from harm.

Dion Seminara Architect


Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 20 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.