Cost-effective Mitigation Strategies for Residential Buildings in Australian Flood Plains

Cost-effective Mitigation Strategies for Residential Buildings in Australian Flood Plains

T. Maqsood M. Wehner K. Dale M. Edwards 

Geoscience Australia and Bushfire & Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, Australia

31 August 2016
| Citation



In recent years, floods have impacted many Australian communities. The floods have resulted in significant logistics for emergency management and considerable costs to all levels of government and property owners to undertake damage repair and enable community recovery.

These impacts are fundamentally the result of inappropriate development on floodplains and a legacy of high risk building stock in flood-prone areas. The Australian Bushfire and Natural Hazards Collaborative Research Centre project entitled “Cost-effective mitigation strategy development for flood-prone buildings” aims to address this issue and is targeted at assessing mitigation strategies to reduce the vulnerability of existing residential building stock in Australian floodplain area.

This paper presents the outcomes of this ongoing project. Key tasks of the project include: (1) a classification of residential building stock, (2) a review of flood mitigation strategies, (3) vulnerability assessment of typical building types with and without mitigation, and (4) benefit cost analyses of all retrofit options for a range of severity/likelihood of flood hazard covering a selection of catchment types. The work will provide information on the optimal retrofit strategies in the context of Australian construction costs and catchment characteristics.

The research will also entail experimental testing of preferred materials to ascertain their resilience to flood water exposure. The outcome of this research will be an evidence base to inform decisions about mitigating the risk posed by buildings on floodplains. The information will be targeted to all levels of government, insurance industry and private property owners.


Australia, cost-effectiveness, mitigation, vulnerability


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