Special Structures

Flood Protection Structures

Flood Protection Structures

Flood protection structures come in many shapes and sizes and invoke a variety of protection strategies.  When it comes to protecting critical facilities such as hospitals, schools, research facilities and government buildings, these structures are often a mixture of active and passive systems that involve gates, walls, valves and special access designs.  Our team of flood protection specialists collaborates to address water height probabilities, identify points of exposure and best practices in the design of the protection structures.  The operable structures are designed to operate effectively and easily with minimum manpower.  These structures are designed with the team providing operational guidelines and protocols to ensure that the systems are employed in the most effective manner to protect the facilities they serve.

To learn more about our experience with flood protection structures, contact Charles Penland

Texas Children’s Hospital

Located in the Texas Medical Center, Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) is in the 100-year floodplain of Brays Bayou and Harris Gully. The facilities were constructed before the modern floodplain rules were in place, resulting in many of their buildings with multiple points of flood exposure all interconnected underground. Walter P Moore’s team of specialists assessed the risk of the existing facilities ability to withstand high head flood conditions and designed protection systems to protect and isolate TCH’s facilities. Protection systems included flood gates, doors and walls, flood marine doors to isolate buildings, early warning systems, waterproofing of electrical and mechanical systems, and increased sump pump capacities. Working with TCH and other Texas Medical Center institutions connected to them, our team developed a multi-institutional protocol for shared operations to ensure that all the facilities would be engaged when specific conditions dictated closure. The system was immediately tested in the 2001 Tropical Storm Allison event, protecting TCH’s facilities and winning an American Council of Engineering Companies Gold Award for innovative structures.

Texas Children's Hospital
Texas Children's Hospital
City of Houston Theater District

The City of Houston has a system of interconnecting garages within the downtown Theater District that serve the various venues as well as City Hall and its Annex. When these garages were flooded in the 2001 Tropical Storm Allison event, Walter P Moore was called in to assess, plan, and design mitigation measures to protect the garages from future flooding. Coordinating with similar studies performed by Walter P Moore on the city facilities and some of the private facilities connected to the underground garage system, a plan was developed to provide comprehensive protection to the garages. Walter P Moore was then engaged to design the protection systems that included flood gates, doors and walls as well as building isolation flood marine doors, early warning systems, extensive waterproofing and sealing of electrical and mechanical systems, and increasing sump pump capacities. The firm also developed and engaged a testing protocol for the systems to ensure that they met the design loads. It was important that these systems not detract from the aesthetics of the facilities they protected. In addition, these flood protection facilities were designed to be engaged within a 30 minute time frame.

City of Houston Theater District
City of Houston Theater District
City of Houston Theater District