Flood Protection Project
In 2008, a 500-year flood hit Columbus Regional Hospital in Columbus, Ind. Water from nearby Haw Creek flooded the underground loading dock and basement and rose 6 inches to the first floor of the hospital. The flood caused $171-million in damages to the hospital, shutting it down for four and a half months as design and construction experts worked to restore operations. The hospital hired a firm to design a flood protection system that would mitigate future damages to the hospital and equipment. Working in conjunction with the hospital and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the firm was able to design a floodwall system 2 feet higher than the 500-year flood level. The system was designed based on a revised study of the Haw Creek watershed and an evaluation and an evaluation of the flood-control solution that would mitigate future damages caused by flooding.
The floodwall is composed of a series of 15 flood gates that line each pedestrian and vehicular entrance point into the hospital. During dry times the wall provides unimpeded access into the hospital but, in the case of a flood, an underground basin fills with flood water. The water’s buoyancy will trigger the flood gates to protect the hospital, meaning no human or electrical interaction is needed to activate the system. This passive system was recognized by FEMA as a best practice for flood-protection design. The system also incorporates a series of pumps that would remove any water that permeates the floodwall perimeter. FEMA paid for the flood mitigation project, which cost $4.7 million.
2013 ACEC Honor Award Winner
FEMA Best Practice Flood Protection
Size: 213,000 SF
Construction Cost: $4.7 Million
Completion Date: June 2012