Saturday, January 15, 2011

Floods and Mud

High water mark on blockwork
Brisbane has just gone through the worst flood since 1974 and the ecohouse being on the river, had front row seats. Fortunately it survived the flood well, despite the waters coming inside half a metre up the walls on the river level. The owners cleaned as the waters subsided and apart from a damp base and slightly swollen timber doors, it looks relatively unscathed.Necessary safety gear
Knowing that the future was likely to hold many extreme weather events and sea level rising, we selected materials for the ground floor which could survive inundatation. I was pleased to see that they did surprisingly well. The Powerscape wall sheeting was completely intact. Only the paint in two places seemed bubbled (water in understair storage coming from behind the paint) and some taping to a joint. Wall cavities may be a different matter, if water got into wiring but cosmetically, the river level spaces and terrace looked good. The limewash finish looks like it survived the grime and hose down relatively unblemished.Paint lifted from pressure behind in store room.
The world's best ecopool changed colour slowly during the floods from clear green through cloudy blending to Brisbane River brown. Lots of wildlife appeared as the waters rose: two snakes, many spiders moved indoors and the bush turkey chicks have become familiar with the living room. Unfortunately as the house has no power, the rainwater and treated greywater cannot be accessed, despite the solar panels (a battery bank needs to be added) but the owners have clean townwater and gas for cooking.

For more flood photos, see my picassa photo sitePlants are growing crazily with the huge rain and new desposits of silt.

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