Project Update: Building Protection from Severe Weather at Island Park

Restroom Building in Flood Plain with FEMA Rated Protections

Romtec completes many types of building projects all across the country, and each building is constructed for its unique location. In some regions, code requirements mandate certain levels of protection from server weather, like hurricanes, and sometimes, weather protection is added at the instruction of the building owner. Recently, we posted a blog about protecting buildings and structures from flooding and included a recently completed project called Island Park in Springfield, Oregon. We received a follow-up from the building owners about the building, showing its flood prevention design features in-use.

Downtown Park Restroom Along Paved Walkway

Romtec worked on the Island Park restroom building with the owners of the facility, the Willamalane Park & Recreation District. This park is located on the banks of the Willamette River and has a small creek that effectively makes the entire park an island. The low elevation of the park means that the entire park and its structures are below the floodplain of the river. This project was replacing an existing building, but the City of Springfield code requirements specified that new construction projects must be a minimum of 1-foot above the floodplain in order to utilize a standard “flow through” building design.

Flow-through building designs are common in floodplains and actually anticipate a building flooding and allows water to enter the building to equalize the pressure on the structure during flooding. The code requirements for the City also allowed that a new construction was possible if a building was flood-proofed up to 1’ above the floodplain. At Island Park, the flood plain was roughly 3 feet above the site elevation, so in order to meet the design requirements, the building needed to be flood-proofed over 4-feet above its foundation.

Riverside Restroom Building with FEMA Rated Flood Protections

Romtec was able to provide a product called EZ Dam Flood Barriers that can be installed on the building doors. Instead of traditional wall louvres for ventilation, door louvres were included on this building to make use of the flood barriers. This design satisfied the City code requirements, and after construction the building was inspected and certified as flood-proof by an independent land surveyor and an independent engineer.

Rising Water Approaching Restroom Building with Adequate Protection

All of this added work is already paying dividends for Willamalane, as this year’s rain levels have been high and the river is starting to rise. Willamalane sent us the above photo of the installed EZ Dam Flood Barriers as the water is rising, making the restroom inaccessible as of now. This product and design allowed for a needed restroom building replacement to take place while meeting code requirements for new construction in a floodplain. Romtec is able to meet many unique requirements in all types of applications, and it is always satisfying to see a customer relay the success of its building. Contact Romtec today to learn more about our products and how we can design a new building for any application.

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