Flood: Building Design & Materials

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Are you building a new home or even renovating your existing house? In the case your home or property is in a flood-prone area or might experience immense water ingress from a weather event, you should consider selecting specific building design and materials.

Here’s what you may want to look at when making your selection.


The materials you choose should be focussed on water-proofing as well as fire resistance. For the facade of the home, you might want to choose water-resistant or water-proof materials such as rendered concrete block walls or fibre cement sheets to help future-proof your house against heavy rains and flooding.

Aside from the facade, internal structure materials to consider are steel or hardwood framing and closed-cell solid insulation. When it comes to the floors, you might want to choose between polished concrete or hardwood timber. This will help your flooring avoid mould and its subsequent damage.

Also, consider solid core doors, aluminium or glass doors. In addition, consider corrosion resistant door and window hardware.

For the periphery of your property, choosing permeable fences and screening can help allow water to pass through in case of a flood – so water won’t get trapped within your fencing.


When it comes to designing your new home or a renovation project, there are several strategies you can look to use to make your home safer against wild weather.

For overall structural design, raising the height of the house (like a classic Queenslander style) can be a handy method to help avoid flooding – particularly for the lower levels of a home. When it comes to planning for the lower levels of the home, also consider having removable cabinetry that can be moved higher-up within the home.

If you elevate your electrical units such as air conditioner condensers, hot water units and pool pumps, and other electrical power systems, you can also potentially save them from permanent or expensive damage. Finally, designs without cavities under stairs enable easier post-flood cleanout.

To learn more about a Suncorp customer who built a cleverly designed house on the Brisbane River, explore here.

For more information, see the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s (QRA) Flood Resilient Building Guidance.

The information is intended to be of a general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.

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April 8, 2022

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