Flood management

Powerhouse Parramatta has been designed to withstand large and rare flood events.

It will be a safe building for people to visit and for the Collection to be exhibited.

Flood risk was a key consideration throughout the design development process of Powerhouse Parramatta. The project obtained State Significant Development Approval in February 2021 that considered the flooding in the assessment.

Flood modelling has confirmed that even in a ‘1 in 1000’ year (0.1% chance in any one year) Parramatta River flood, the Museum ground floor level at RL 7.5 would remain half a metre above the flood waters.

Powerhouse Parramatta has been designed with an undercroft at circa RL3.5 adjacent to the River, an area underneath the Museum’s ground floor, to allow the passage of flood water in a similar manner to the previous carpark on the site.  Find out more in this fact sheet.

International engineering and flooding specialists Arup have prepared the below graph, which highlights how recent flood data from this year compared with other flood events, including February 2020.


Construction phase safety on site

Safety is the number one priority. During extreme wet weather, work on site is temporarily paused and resumes only when it is safe to do so.  Machinery is transferred to upper levels of the site as required to respond to forecast extreme wet weather.

Visit our Latest Updates for recent project news.

Museum operation

A flood management strategy will be developed for when Powerhouse Parramatta is open and operating.

Most importantly, the majority of exhibition spaces as well as the emergency power supplies will be above any possible flood levels.

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