How to combat flooding in the workplace
With another La Niña event likely to cause more flooding on Australia’s east coast, businesses are understandably asking for flood prevention advice. Workplace fit-out company Evoke Projects explains what you can do to combat potential flooding in your workplace.
Flood assessment and business continuity plan
The first step is to conduct a risk assessment so that you can determine what measures can be put in place for flood mitigation and business continuity. Check roofs, gutters, downpipes and drains for leaks and overflows while it is raining. Understand the potential maximum flood level for your business location and how that worst case scenario will impact your building.
Changes to the workplace fit-out for flood mitigation
Once you have conducted an assessment, there are steps you can take to prepare for a flood and make it easier to recover quickly.
- Clean and repair all gutters, downpipes and drains
- Re-landscape the exterior to divert water flow away from essential buildings
- Install new drainage and anti-backflow valves
- Add more air vents and weep holes into the structure
- Improve airflow in high risk spaces
- Purchase fans and pumps to expedite drying out of a wet or flooded space
- Install barriers to prevent water ingress – temporary barriers can be built in the short term but permanent barriers will be a better investment
- Install new watertight external doors and re-seal existing doors
- Relocate critical equipment to higher floors
- Relocate utility supplies and meters above the maximum predicted flood level for the location
Alleviate flood issues with a new workplace fit-out
Ideally, your plan to combat flooding will allow for a new workplace design and fit-out. This will give you the greatest scope to future proof your commercial premises against flooding.
As an example of how a new interior design can help to combat flooding, let’s look at the new commercial fit-out of Birdon, an Australian manufacturing and marine company based in Port Macquarie, NSW. Evoke Project’s workplace design brief was to create an inviting and employee-focused space within a challenging, existing, older building. The premises was in a flood prone area and had been affected by high flood waters in recent years.
To alleviate the flooding issues, hard, cleanable and durable finishes were employed for health and safety and to future proof the commercial fit-out. When using flood-appropriate materials and solid finishes such as brick, ceramic tiles and powder coated metal, acoustics can be tricker to maintain and achieve. To counteract the reverberation of the hard surfaces, Evoke’s office design team used feature acoustic wall cladding and ceiling panels to help with acoustics, and to soften and add interest to the spaces.
From a workplace design perspective, the new industrial, raw and edgy interior design complemented Birdon’s industrial sector and company culture. Additional offices, an open plan office space with river views and natural light, client hot desking, new amenities and meeting spaces also improved morale, productivity and interaction.
Choose your commercial fit-out partner carefully
With the building sector under pressure from rising material costs, interest rates and labour shortages, it is important to select a reliable and financially secure workplace fit-out partner.
At Evoke Projects, we employ our own team of architectural designers, engineers and builders. We manage the complete construction and workplace fit-out process This gives us total in-house control and oversight. It gives you a project manager as a single point of contact, shorter time frames, simple contract administration, transparency around costs, excellent communication throughout the process and peace of mind.
Our experience in workplace design and flood mitigation makes us the ideal and safe partner to help you combat flooding risks in your workplace.
Please contact Evoke Projects on 1300 720 692 for more information on workplace design and fit-out.