Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

Flood Effects on Residential Buildings

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Housing
Wordcount: 4922 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

Reference this

Flood Effects on Residential Buildings

Flood effects on residential buildings

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Statement of the problem

Background Literature Review

Feasibility/proof of concept/design

Method and Preliminary Findings

Reflection and Adjustment of Original Plan







Executive Summary

Structural breakdown can happen because of over-loading or abundance of loading, for that reason, it should be a concern in the building’s outline and development. Loads/actions are the reasons that buildings are imposed by dislocations, contortions and/or physical pressures. Loads/actions can be defined as distortions, increasing speeds and/or motions used on a building or its elements. The building components include the structural part (wall, roof, etc.) and the non-structural part (flooring, doors, cabinet, vanities, etc.). In layman terms, the load is the measure of heaviness that a building needs to be able to transfer to the ground. There are many types of loads such as snow load, wind load, live load, dead load, and additional ecological loads (Pieglobal.com, 2018). Flooding is a type of environmental load; it can be defined as a type of load that causes stress on buildings. ‘What are the effects of a flood on residential buildings’ is the focal point of this project proposal.

Statement of the problem

From the biblical times referencing Noah’s Ark to the more modern times, floods in Queensland, the Earth experiences catastrophes such as flooding. An inundation of water can happen when a water asset is in excess of its usual volume. Water then expands over the earth’s surface and floods it. Flood occurrence can follow extreme events such as storm floods, tidal waves, and substantial raining (Kreibich et al., 2005). The process of a flood begins when a lot of water enters a water body such as creeks, rivers, etc. Water inundating on the dry earth’s surface is defined as flooding. This project problem is worth investing because it is a very real and relevant problem in today’s society. By researching and putting together data for flooding we are able to prevent casualties and economic damage to our community. The collected data for flooding can be helpful towards the insurance industry as they conduct flood mitigation for insurance surveying (Väisänen et al., 2016). Data is relevant to stakeholders such as the government and insurance companies.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

By conceptualising thoughts influenced by an investigation that is both conducted at the subject matter and is coherent will ideally inevitably bring about a successful completion of the project. By posing key inquiries that will empower us to continue in the right bearing, we will be capable of accomplishing this venture’s objectives. This is a river end flooding project not flash flooding; we are not taking any velocity related damage, no velocity related damage is considered in this project.

Essential to the task’s prosperity are the accompanying inquires:

  • What is the broader impact of this project’s topic on international communities?
  • What are the impacts of flooding on structures?
  • What components does your building have?
  • At what level do the contents of your building become inundated?
  • What is the repair strategy if they become wet?
  • What is the repair rate of those building materials?
  • What is the replacement rate of those building materials?
  • What would be the repair cost of flooding?
  • What would be the replacement cost of flooding?
  • What risks should be considered for the completion of the project?

Background Literature Review

Floods are prevalent nearly everywhere not just in Australia but in international communities. In this project proposal, we answer questions like why we are doing this project proposal and what are the flood impacts on buildings? The hazard parameters revolving around the topic question involve the hydrostatic forces, debris, environment, duration and rate of rise. Explained more in-depth, the hydrostatic forces include the static and dynamic forces; the static force (Fs) is the force exerted by the depth of the flood (Fd), the dynamic force is the flow velocity of the flood (Kreibich et al., 2009). The quantity of debris flowing is a factor because it can increase with fallen branches, trees, parts of houses etc. The amount of debris is a hazard parameter which can increase the shielding effect resulting in lessening forces. The environment encompasses the shielding effect and the topography. The shielding effect describes a group of houses spreading the damage among themselves rather than taking the full effect alone this can be illustrated by the house in the front lines shielding the house behind it from the hydrodynamic forces so lessening the forces for the house behind it. The topography essentially changes the depth and velocity flow of water in a catchment area. The catchment area is a factor that affects structures. Also, the duration of the flood is an aspect considering that in damage vs. time graph, the damage variable would theoretically be increasing; the reasoning is that as time goes on, certain materials like timber would experience saturation and deteriorate (Smith, 1994).

Furthermore, the element concerning the rate of rise refers to how fast the flood appears. A flood that occurs relatively immediately would mean there would be less reaction time for the occupants of a household to evacuate. A flood that occurs relatively immediately is called a flash flood (Kreibich et al., 2007). Flash flooding usually occurs within 3 hours. Velocity is slow enough; we can negate the effect of velocity (negligible 1m/s). Simple analysis and procedure, our end result is vulnerability curve, damage index vs. depth (flood parameter). Muddy watermarks can prove that the house has been inundated, easy to record. There have been few chances to record the velocity of the flood with smartphones. Velocity related flood damage, catchment to catchment, upstream to downstream, topography, openness. You can measure the hazard parameter with depth or velocity.

A repair strategy involving chemical contamination would be unable to treat the material so you would have to remove/replace and calculate the cost (Proverbs and Soetanto, 2007). A repair strategy involving clean water would just have to treat by cleaning and calculating the repair cost. If an equipment containing a motor inside becomes inundated it would need to be replaced which can be a factor of cost. 

If there is a flood in the house, there would be an equal static since there is no difference in pressure regarding static forces. However, this can change with variable factors including seepage cracks in the foundation of the structure, and saturation/collapse of the material. A bigger seepage level would cause a higher rate of rise; you would then see a difference in pressure. Different materials such as bricks, timber, reinforced concrete, etc. behave differently chemically under conditions such as saturation. Because of time constraints, I haven’t explored the structural parameters of different building materials under flood conditions. A different project proposal could explore this issue.

Figure 2: Many homes inundated by rising floodwaters



Research has been made in the United States which focuses on the quantification of flood destruction, through gauging measurements of property values after the flooding, views of the house owners and their actions towards flooding insurance (Shultz, 2017).

The exchange of fundamental thoughts of hazard examinations to the flooding issue is explored in this project proposal. The area of insurance and various spheres of influence involving technical and/or ecological hazards have cultivated techniques for hazard examination in the modern century (Molak, 2000). The unique parts of flooding hazard (environmental, financial, meteorological, etc.) are considered into the optimised threat lessening procedures in order to examine threats (Thieken et al., 2006). In this project proposal, the collection of information that determines the likelihood of adversity from machinery, manufacturing practices, nature mechanisms, etc. is taken as the characterisation of threat examination and the likelihood of adversity is taken as the characterisation of hazard. The significance of responding to an emergency and flood alleviation has been demonstrated by the extensive floods occurring with intense devastation in Queensland (Dec 2010 – Jan 2011).

 Hydrostatic forces include pressure and the velocity component. Between the inside wall and the outside wall, the pressure distribution would be different considering the water amount/pressure on both sides. This is an overview of flood actions on buildings. The height of the flood wall, flood depth difference from inside and outside, flood pressure is different on both sides. If only one side is flooded, that one side’s pressure is the whole pressure. If both sides are flooded equally, the pressure would be equal. Piers can be made of timber, steel or brick. Since gravity acts downwards, it remains in place. But buoyancy comes into play in floods and lifts the whole house upward, shifting the house out of place.

Feasibility/proof of concept/design

Risk influences include delivery of the project and what device you are using to collect data such as a laptop. How to minimise risk: by backing up in multiple machines; this prevents a situation where your data is stolen or you have to change your machine.

Obstacle description

Obstacle likelihood

Obstacle consequence

Strategy to overcome the obstacle

Delivery of project


Unable to deliver the project by the due date because of unseen circumstances

Finish project earlier

Data storage/collection


Lose all your data

Backup in multiple machines, backup in the cloud



Punishments can incorporate revocation of grades, prohibition of obtaining a degree, allegations of scholarly misbehaviour

Doing the work in your own words, utilising the Turnitin similarity report to prevent accidental plagiarism

Limited availability of required material or resources


Unable to obtain Australian Construction Handbook from the library for the costing of building components

You can get cost of building components from Bunnings

Figure 3: Risk management table

Method and Preliminary Findings

Methodology contains what you are going to do, what systematic approach you are taking. A Gantt chart is depicted below; it involves how to undertake tasks for the purpose of time planning. For the y-axis of the Gantt chart, it encompasses the tasks and for the x-axis are the numbered weeks resulting in a start date and finish date for the individual tasks. Preliminary findings included that concrete is stronger than timber.

Figure 4: Timeline activities Gantt chart

Completed tasks:

  • Project proposal
  • Literature review
  • Methodology
  • Data collection
  • Analysis
  • Executive summary
  • Background literature review
  • Method and preliminary findings
  • Data collection
  • Reflection









Figure 5: Updated Gantt chart












The remaining tasks to be completed in part B:

  • Enhance executive summary
  • Enhance the statement of the problem
  • Enhance background literature review
  • Enhance feasibility/proof of concept/design
  • Enhance method and preliminary findings
  • Enhance reflection and adjustment of the original plan
  • Enhance conclusion
  • Add more references
  • Enhance appendix
  • Add more photos/diagrams/figures/tables
  • Add more building components
  • Excel quantity estimation

There is a spreadsheet attached accompanying this progress report enlisting around 50 building components and showing what they are made of, how susceptible are they to water, and what is the repair strategy. Quantity estimation is needed to know how many building components are needed to replace if the building components get wet. Quantity estimate involves floor area cost, builder cost, how much carpet/doors/windows are required in your replacement in flooding. You can get the cost of replacement building components from Bunnings or the Australian construction handbook. Assembled in the spreadsheet is basic building components including windows and detailed building components including skirting (the bottom part of the wall). Building components only include those contents that are not moveable; fixed to the house. Furniture/refrigerator is movable, that’s why they are contents including TVs, computers and tables. Additionally, the spreadsheet contains the cost consisting of the repair rates, construction rates and quantities. The Australian Construction Handbook is to be used in conjunction with the spreadsheet as it contains the costing for all the capitals/states/regions, cost increase/decrease along a period of time for space (Melbourne, Sydney) and time (1980, 2018) (Rawlinson’s Australian construction handbook 2004, 2004).


Figure 6: Calculated vulnerability curve

Using the excel spreadsheet you can develop a flood vulnerability model showing different levels of damage along flood depth; from this, you can compare building types and determine which one is more vulnerable (Apel et al., 2008). Lost exceedance curve concept is also known as vulnerability curve, stage damage curve and the relationship between damage lost and depth of flood. This curve has to be for a specific location in hydrological terms as some places experience more rainfall than others. Rain is the main cause of flooding. The probability/frequency depends on the severity of the flood; high return period means a higher severity (Gumbel, 1941). A normal house can withstand a 100-year event (1 percentage – 100-year return period). Shallow depths; Low rainfall meaning more frequent return period, heavy rainfall meaning long return period. Severity of flood; more frequent return period is less destructive than a less frequent return period. This project aims to find out what water level would the water exert enough pressure that the wall would crack.

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

Research data is useful for one attribute of a building as building attributes can define a building type/architectural style. By knowing the construction age (when it was constructed) you can estimate from the collected data the number of building materials that were destroyed. With more categories such as story class (number of stories), rise (low, mid, high), building purpose (commercial, industrial, residential) you can be more specific in your analysis. Buildings change with the passage of time because of the building code being constantly updated; an example of a design code is the wind AS4100. The design standard is updated along the passage of time; prior to 1980s wind/earthquake loadings relatively didn’t exist. Changes from different experiences, disasters cause it to be updated; all our lessons in the past ensure that our computations reduce loading applicable to that building type. All the buildings need to be designed to certain standard whether it’s industrial or commercial. Age categories would have different architecture styles and may or may not have a porch. The architectural styles have changed since 200 years ago, looking at low social-economical houses. This is why defining your building type in your progress report is important and building attributes will help elaborate your building type. The building type used in this progress report is a residential townhouse which has two storeys with an integral garage. A timber frame is used as a structural system and a concrete slab-on-grade is used as a bottom floor system. The exterior wall is weatherboard with the internal wall being hardboard and metal being used as the roof material. The timber frame resists vertical loading while the braces resist horizontal loading. Weatherboard can sustain extreme weather. By knowing certain building types, the location is portable to other calculations (Dall’Osso et al., 2009). The data collected in this progress report would be useful for calculating the flood damage of weatherboard houses present in Australia. In terms of flood vulnerability assessment, engineers look at the building themselves, doesn’t matter where or when as the given characteristics remain the same. In terms of geography, my building type is based in Australia because the building types are different in other countries such as the US and Europe. Dimensions in your floor plan are important as they can be used to calculate costs for repairs.

Refer to the appendix for my building type and dimensions.

Figure 7: Weatherboard model house


Reflection and Adjustment of the Original Plan

Modifications made to the project proposal include more depth, adjustments of the format, and additions of photos/graphs. In addition, a template of which building components will be affected has been attached, floor plans/elevations added, and the Gantt chart has been updated. These modifications can be justified by the fact they improved the project proposal as a whole.



The further comprehension of the flood effects on residential buildings is the ambition of this venture. Insurance industries require knowing how severe a flood is and the probability of an occurrence of certain magnitude at a certain location; in the event, we can learn this information we can calculate an accurate insurance premium to distribute among the clients. This research paper should be given due consideration since the results show that the advantages overshadow the disadvantages. Every factor that may have had an influence on the topic project, in the ideal case, has been investigated by the author of this paper. If there is a following appraisal undertaking that is relatively similar to this topic project, that appraisal undertaking should examine the few leftover unexplored questions.


  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (2018). Flood maps revised before Harvey upped risk. [online] Available at: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2017/12/03/Flood-maps-revised-before-Harvey-upped-risk/stories/201712030127 [Accessed 30 May 2018].
  • Pieglobal.com. (2018). Live Loads vs. Dead Loads: Determining Building Design Loads for Structural Claims | Pie Consulting & Engineering. [online] Available at: http://www.pieglobal.com/live-loads-vs-dead-loads-determining-building-design-loads-for-structural-claims/ [Accessed 30 May 2018].
  • Kreibich, H., Thieken, A., Petrow, T., Müller, M. and Merz, B. (2005). Flood loss reduction of private households due to building precautionary measures – lessons learned from the Elbe flood in August 2002. Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 5(1), pp.117-126.
  • Väisänen, S., Lehtoranta, V., Parjanne, A., Rytkönen, A. and Aaltonen, J. (2016). Willingness of residents to invest in flood mitigation measures and to purchase flood insurance. E3S Web of Conferences, 7, p.22001.
  • Kreibich, H., Piroth, K., Seifert, I., Maiwald, H., Kunert, U., Schwarz, J., Merz, B. and Thieken, A. (2009). Is flow velocity a significant parameter in flood damage modelling?. Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 9(5), pp.1679-1692.
  • Smith, D. (1994). Flood damage estimation- A review of urban stage-damage curves and loss functions.
  • Kreibich, H., Müller, M., Thieken, A. and Merz, B. (2007). Flood precaution of companies and their ability to cope with the flood in August 2002 in Saxony, Germany. Water Resources Research, 43(3).
  • Proverbs, D. and Soetanto, R. (2007). Flood Damaged Property. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.
  • ABC News. (2018). Report finds authorities failed during response to fatal flood. [online] Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-05/report-finds-tasmania-latrobe-flood-response-failures/8589166 [Accessed 30 May 2018].
  • Shultz, S. (2017). The Extent and Nature of Potential Flood Damage to Commercial Property Structures in the Midwestern United States. Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education, 161(1), pp.81-91.
  • Molak, V. (2000). Fundamentals of risk analysis and risk management. Boca Raton: Lewis Publishers.
  • Thieken, A., Merz, B., Kreibich, H. and Apel, H. (2006). Methods for flood risk assessment: Concepts and challenges.
  • Rawlinson’s Australian construction handbook 2004. (2004). Perth, WA: Rawlhouse Pub.
  • Apel, H., Aronica, G., Kreibich, H. and Thieken, A. (2008). Flood risk analyses—how detailed do we need to be?. Natural Hazards, 49(1), pp.79-98.
  • Gumbel, E. (1941). The Return Period of Flood Flows. The Annals of Mathematical Statistics, 12(2), pp.163-190.
  • Dall’Osso, F., Gonella, M., Gabbianelli, G., Withycombe, G. and Dominey-Howes, D. (2009). A revised (PTVA) model for assessing the vulnerability of buildings to tsunami damage. Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 9(5), pp.1557-1565.
  • AS 4100-1998, 2016 ‘Steel structures’. Standards Australia
  • Jameshardie.com.au. (2018). Weatherboards | James Hardie. [online] Available at: http://www.jameshardie.com.au/products/weatherboards/ [Accessed 30 May 2018].


Refer to the next page. The next pages are in landscape orientation.

Gravel coverage

Weatherboard walling

Silver birch tree for shading


Front entrance

Gutter roof



Level ground

Roof COLORBOND light-coloured

Eaves 600 mm







Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: