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    Flood Home Design Competition winner

    David Wheeldon

    A Queensland architect has been named the winner of a competition to design a house for flood-prone areas.

    The LJ Hooker Flood Home Design Competition was co-sponsored by the Future Housing Task Force and Archicentre.

    The winning house design is one of 12 new designs created specifically to be affordable and appropriate in flood-prone areas.

    The winning concept home, designed by Dion Seminara Architecture of Brisbane, is to be built in a controlled environment, with the home being transported to the site in two parts and connected down the centre.

    This means the building construction can be controlled and costs limited where possible. Such an approach also allows for mass construction.

    Winning Architect Dion Seminara said, "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. The concept home has a flood clearance level of 4.5 metres to the first floor.

    "This zone features materials and finishes which can be hosed down without damage. The design itself allows the water to flow through the building without placing pressure on the structure.

    "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.

    "The environmentally friendly design features lightweight building materials, and the concept home fits into both urban and bush environment."

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

    “What we have learned in this design competition can be of great use in building and rebuilding in the Lockyer Valley and other flood-prone areas across the country. This is literally a $63 billion problem, "said L J Hooker CEO, L. Janusz Hooker, who served as a competition judge.

    “We believe the winning design sets new standards in flood-safe home design."

    Up to $63 billion of existing residential buildings, including as many as 247,600 individual buildings, are potentially at risk of inundation in Australia this century, according to Climate Change Risks to Australia's Coast, published by the Australian Department of Climate Change.

    Ian Agnew, Queensland State Manager of competition co-sponsor Archicentre, said the competition highlighted the important and vital role of architects in solving a major problem of flood prone areas and housing affordability through innovative design.

    Archicentre, which provided the community with information in dealing with homes after the floods, believes the design competition provided valuable opportunities to look at safer better ways to rebuild homes in flood prone areas.

    Agnew said all entries were of a high quality and fulfilled the entry criteria, which required each submission to:

     

    • 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.

    The Future Housing Taskforce is a think tank of housing industry professionals with the goal of providing solutions to Australia's affordability crisis. Visit www.futurehousingtaskforce.com.au for more information.

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