Habitable floor height

Flood Hazards

The 2011 floods devastated Queensland. Many properties were destroyed and lives were lost. This tragic event made us realise our vulnerability, and prompted a change in laws for building within a flood hazard area.

While much of Queensland’s population lives along the beautiful, but volatile coastline, they also live on floodplains. Therefore, the possibility of flooding must be considered during the design stage before you lodge your building application.

The Queensland Development Code MP3.5 was designed in response to the 2010-11 floods, and is now applicable when building new residences or when making additions to properties that are located in flood hazard areas.

In order to establish whether or not your land is located in a flood hazard area, you will need to research and review your local council’s town planning scheme. If your land does happen to fall within such an area, the council will have particular requirements. Mostly likely, there will be a predetermined flood level for the site, and therefore a required minimum floor level. In some circumstances, you may also be required to get planning approval from council before you can obtain building approval.

Losing ones home is one of the most frightening possibilities imaginable. In order to minimise this risk, it is essential to identify whether your property is prone to flooding, and that the appropriate preventative strategies are worked into the design. Flood levels can have major impacts on the design of your house, but they could be the difference between devastation and protection, and in the most serious cases, between life and death.

To find out about the other issues that you should be considering at the design stage we suggest you read our story  THIS SIMPLE CHECKLIST COULD SAVE YOU THOUSANDS.

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Candace is a valued past employee of Devcert. Candace started as a student with Devcert in 2010 and obtained a Bachelor Degree in Planning while working with us. Many of the planning articles on The Oil Stone were researched and developed by Candace.