• Burchills take on Gold Coast Corporate Triathlon Series

    Tuesday, May 16, 2017

    The team at Burchills have recently taken part in their first corporate team triathlon.

    Entering 6 teams of 3 to take on the 400m swim, 10km bike and 4km run course. Team members from across all disciplines and ages took up the challenge with all teams crossing the finish line, some looking a little worse for wear!

    Stay tuned to see what's in store next for the team at Burchills! ~ Follow us on Facebook

  • Planning for a More Resilient Future

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    Planning for a More Resilient Future

    Our collective thoughts are with all of those who have been, and who are still being affected by recent weather caused by ex-tropical cyclone Debbie.

    As the co-author of the national Enhancing disaster resilience in the built environment project completed back in 2012, Burchills’ Planning Consultant, Shane Murrihy, has an acute understanding of the critical role that land use planning plays in making our communities more resilient to natural hazards.

    The project, completed back in 2012, consisted of the development of four (4) key documents, namely the Vision Statement, Current State Analysis, Gap Analysis and the Roadmap. The following Built Environment Vision was developed as part of this project, which guided the development of several key actions required to enhance our communities’ resilience to hazards in the built environment:

    By 2025 … I am contributing to a stronger, more resilient Australia by being informed and prepared for the natural hazards that may affect where I live, work and play.

    Mr Murrihy states, “with our weather events becoming more volatile and intense, it is essential that planning for development and infrastructure responds to these threats”.

    With Burchills’ extensive skills covering town planning, resilience planning, civil engineering, stormwater management, flood modelling and structural engineering, we are optimally positioned to support Councils and developers in ensuring that enhancing resilience to hazards is a cornerstone of planning documents and development projects, including during recovery and reconstruction efforts.

    If you require any assistance whatsoever in responding to recent weather events, please give Shane a call on (07) 5509 6400 or email


    Shane Murrihy
    Senior Planning Consultant

  • Cyclone Debbie Recovery Response

    Thursday, April 06, 2017

    Cyclone Debbie Recovery Response...

    It has been less than a week since Cyclone Debbie wreaked a path of destruction across Queensland and Northern NSW. Tragically, there have been a number of lives lost and billions in damage to property and infrastructure and it is not yet over for many.

    There has been record or near record rainfalls and flooding across the region but fortunately, the cyclone coincided with low to moderate ocean storm surge conditions which prevented flooding being far worse than observed. (check out the time lapse satellite view of Debbie's path)

    As an example, In the 36hr period between 6pm 29 March and 6am 31 March, Upper Springbrook ALERT rain gauge recorded 888mm of rain. Using Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) statistical Intensity Frequency Duration (IFD) data at this location the Average Recurrence Interval (ARI) of the recorded rain is in the order of 100 years.

    Cyclone Debbie crossed the North QLD coastline near Bowen as a Category 4 tropical cyclone bringing with it torrential rain and severe damaging winds and seas. The cyclone traversed inland and down the line of the great dividing range affecting many communities including city regions. As the cyclone was downgraded and exited land out into the Pacific Ocean off the Tweed Coast, extremely intense rainfall was recorded in the Logan/Albert, Coomera, Tweed, and Wilsons River catchments. Major level flooding has occurred within these catchments of which has caused wide spread damage to both private and public infrastructure. The Nerang River catchment, however was less intense with only Minor level flooding recorded and observed. Smaller southern Gold Coast catchments including Mudgeeraba, Tallebudgera, and Currumbin with headwaters being close to Springbrook escarpment experienced Moderate to Major level flooding.

    The recovery has begun and will comprise not only a massive amount of cleaning up and rebuilding damaged infrastructure, but much effort will also be directed toward analysing and better understanding the event and improving our communities resilience and protection from future similar events.

    Burchills engineers and scientists are doing our small part in contributing to this recovery effort and have been already been responding to calls for infrastructure assessment and replacement in North Queensalnd down to NSW including the Gold Coast and Tweed.

    We are also collecting data and inspecting a number of flood affected sites to aid flood damage and claims assessment. With the fullness of time we will be working with councils and authorities to help improve flood and disaster planning and resilience.

    Events like these require a whole of community response with everyone doing what they can to help. The Burchills team has all the experience necessary to assist both public and private sector clients to assess damage and get back in shape as quickly as possible. Services that we can offer include:

    • Site inspections and dilapidation reports by flood, civil, and structural engineers to assess, record and catalouge damage and report on rectification design and construction works required;
    • Hydrological and hydraulic assessment to determine the magnitude of flooding including associated modelling and determination of source of flooding;
    • Flood data collection and coordination of surveyors to ascertain flood mark levels
    • Flood recovery works design and documentation (civil and structural) for instance building and bridge damage, reinstatement of washed away road sections and culverts, reinstatement of washed away or damaged pontoons and jetties; and
    • Flood disaster and resilience planning and management including flood emergency management plans (FEMP's).
    • For a full description of our range of services please visit

    Within our team we have a number of Chartered Engineers (CPEng/RPEQ) that can be utilised to certify all findings and documentation.

    If you are an existing client of Burchills and your site was flooded and you would like an inspection or formal damage assessment please do not hesitate in contacting your Burchills Project Manager to arrange.

    For all enquiries into our flood engineering and response support services please contact:

    Mr Jacob Franklin
    Manager – Water and Environment
    M : 0414 515 806
    T : (07) 5509 6400
    E :


    Jacob Franklin
    Manager - Water & Environment

    Philip Bell
    Principal Engineer and Certification

  • Burchills carves the wake to gain council approval

    Wednesday, March 08, 2017


    The Gold Coast is about to become the wakeboarding capital of Australia. A multimillion-dollar cable ski park is proposed for a 10ha lake and old quarry site just west of the John Muntz Bridge at Oxenford.

    Burchills was engaged by Capital International during 2014 to provide specialist professional consultancy services for the new ProWake facility being promoted by ex-world champion and Gold Coast local, Daniel Watkins. On the back of previous works undertaken on the site as part of Holcim Quarry rectification works, Burchills were awarded the task of providing water engineering input, as well as town planning, civil engineering, traffic assessment, and environmental assessment.

    The site is located off Maudsland Road and between two branches of the Coomera River. The southern branch carries the main flow while the northern branch carries mostly flood flow and inflows from Bakers Creek. There were a number of technical challenges to overcome, with one of the most critical being flood impact. Flooding mechanisms at this location in the river are complex and required a rigorous flood modelling approach. The flood hydraulic impact assessment relied upon the results of a two dimensional (2D) unsteady state TUFLOW hydrodynamic model which was developed based on Council’s 2008 Coomera River MIKE FLOOD model. The flood model was setup to represent pre-development existing conditions of which was then in turn modified to represent the post-development constructed conditions, for instance the facility infrastructure that resulted in changes to ground levels. An impact assessment was conducted and modifications made to the design intent to ensure Council’s tolerances and criteria was met.

    Burchills water engineering team also provided the following documentation as part of the Development Application:

    • Stormwater Management Plan
    • Flood Emergency Plan
    • Lake Water Quality Management Plan
    • Onsite Water Harvesting and Effluent Disposal Strategy


    Jacob Franklin
    Project Manager

    Philip Bell
    Principal Engineer and Certification

    Nathan McDonald
    Environmental Planner

    Toby Bennett
    Flood and Stormwater Engineer

  • Changes to Coastal Development in Qld

    Thursday, June 09, 2016

    On the 3rd of February, the Qld Government’s new Coastal Management District (CMD) came into effect. You may be wondering whether this affects your development… To assist our clients, Burchills has compiled the following summary of the changes.

    What is the Coastal Management District?

    The Coastal Management District (CMD) is generally used to define coastal hazard areas that the State considers require special development controls. Coastal hazard areas consist of areas at risk from either:

    • coastal erosion; or
    • permanent inundation from tidal water; or
    • temporary inundation resulting from a defined storm tide event.

    What are the changes?

    The new CMD mapping is similar to the old mapping but has taken into account an updated shoreline position and the projected sea level rise resulting from climate change - 0.8 metres by 2100. As a result, the new CMD mapping includes a number of additional lots where tidal inundation may occur from sea level rise. The main changes on the Gold Coast occur around the Pimpama Jacobs Well area. The new mapping also acknowledges major tidal control structures on existing waterways and ceases at these tidal controls.

    Why the changes?

    The Qld Government have made these changes to ramp up the planning and assessment process with the desired outcome to enhance the resilience of coastal communities. The Government is concerned that unregulated coastal development can lead to costly and sometimes undesirable property protection works that could damage nearby beaches or cause adverse impacts on the local environment.

    What land is affected?

    The location of the new CMD is shown on the Qld Government’s coastal hazard maps page and on the interactive mapping system on the DILGP website. The new mapping is lot-based and used the digital cadastral database as at July 2015. The CMD mapping generally includes lots where permanent inundation by tidal water or increased coastal erosion from sea level rise is expected to occur. However, only lots close to tidal water (creeks, rivers or the open coast) are included.

    What developments are affected?

    As with the old mapping - development that falls within the CMD is subject to assessment against the provisions of the State Development Assessment Provisions Module 10: Coastal Protection. To ensure the proposed development complies with Module 10 - a Coastal Hazard Assessment is required as part of the development application documentation. Types of development that that are subject to assessment include:

    • Operational works, such as tidal works, interfering with quarry material, disposing of dredge spoil, or constructing an artificial waterway, removing or interfering with coastal dunes
    • Material change of use of premises
    • Reconfiguring a lot
    • Buildings seaward of a coastal building line

    Prior to making a development application, landholders and developers should determine whether their land holdings are affected by the new CMD and if so, what impact it will have on future development or re-development of the land.

    Need any assistance...

    Our Environment and Planning team are experienced in the assessment of coastal hazards and can help determine whether your property is affected by these changes and what documentation is required for a development application. Typical documentation that may be required for developments in coastal and flood prone areas include:

    • Coastal Hazard Assessment - an assessment against SDAP Module 10c
    • Flood Emergency Management Plan - Burchills are one of a handful of firms certified to prepare these reports
    • Stormwater Management Plan
    • Hydraulic Impact Assessment
    • Marine Plant / Seagrass Surveys
    • Hydraulic Impact Assessment
    • Ecological Restoration Plan

    If you have any questions or for more information about the CMD and how it might affect you, please contact:

    Caroline Kelly - Principal Environmental Scientist
    (07) 5509 6479
    Nathan McDonald - Environmental Planner
    (07) 5509 6461

    Copyright © 2016 Burchills Engineering Solutions, All rights reserved.
    You are part of the Burchills Engineering Solutions Team!

    Our mailing address is:
    Burchills Engineering Solutions
    Level 8, 42 Marine Parade Australia Fair
    PO Box 3776, Australia Fair
    Southport, QLD 4215


  • Burchills LAB Launch

    Thursday, May 05, 2016

    Friday night saw the official launch of the Burchills LAB a new business initiative from Burchills Engineering Solutions to promote innovation and creative concepts.

    The LAB is a vehicle for engaging our clients, industry partners, universities, and community and collaborating in joint problem solving and the co-creation of solutions. The team were extremely pleased with the level of engagement our clients and industry partners showed at the event and feedback from the night has been extremely positive.

    With several of our current and upcoming projects on display the guests were eager to see what the LAB had been working on, from Drones to iPad Apps and design and construction product innovations there was something for everyone.

    The LAB will be hosting regular events. If you would like to join the LAB or take part please contact the LAB team through our Facebook and/or LinkedIn Groups



  • Burchills LAB

    Thursday, March 31, 2016

    Introducing Burchills LAB.  Big Question? Let us help you find a Big Solution! 

    The great thing about working with Engineers and Scientists is that they are always looking for problems to solve. The Burchills team are particularly passionate about solving problems because our purpose is to make life simpler and more rewarding for those creating and enjoying our great places of the future.

    However our challenges in the urban and built environment are much bigger than they used to be. Things are getting more complex like mega cities, transport system overload, unaffordable housing, adapting to climate change, environmental degradation, and funding shortfalls. Gone are the days when we could simply follow a tried and proven step process for solving our urban and engineering problems. To solve today’s problems we need to ramp things up!

    Announcing the launch of the new “Burchills LAB”!!

    The Burchills LAB is a vehicle for engaging our clients, industry partners, universities, and community and collaborating in joint problem solving and the co-creation of solutions. When we collaborate to combine the experience, talent, and skills of our network and leverage our own core problem solving engine, then no challenge or value creation opportunity is beyond us!

    Participating in the LAB is easy, just follow these steps:

    • 1.  Have a look over our infographic below to learn more about the Burchills Lab
    • 2.  Join our Facebook and/or LinkedIn Groups
    • 3.  Contribute your problems and ideas via participating in the group discussions
    • 4.  Come along to our special events or nominate a topic to present
    • 5.  Enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that together we are making life simpler and more rewarding




  • What does it take to build affordable housing?

    Thursday, March 10, 2016

    The Australian Dream is an idea or belief that owning a house or property can lead to a better standard of living and secure future. However, building design throughout the world has become more sophisticated and technical and is adding a range of new building costs. In Australia, this is compounded by the property market boom. Together these changes have made the cost of housing a major barrier to many Australians searching for their own Australian dream.

    Housing affordability is an essential aspect of a building design. But what does it take to construct affordable housing and why is it important?

    Building design throughout the world has become more sophisticated and technical

    Why is affordable housing important?

    Not only does housing realise the basic human right to shelter, affordable housing is also essential to a person's or a family's wellbeing. 

    According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, affordable housing creates a stable platform on which benefits such as secure employment is based. Furthermore, it also helps create a relationship with the community as well as developing a homely environment where people can feel safe. 

    Unfortunately, there are a number of Australians who are unable to access affordable housing. According to Habitat for Humanity Australia, there are over 173,000 Australians currently on the public housing waiting list, while there is also an approximate housing shortage of around 553,000 affordable properties. 

    This is a major problem not just for the government but for all Australians. 

    How can Queensland produce affordable housing?

    Policy and legislative reforms can help Australians access affordable housing by creating subsidies and other mechanisms. Alongside this, civil and structural engineers can act as key stakeholders in affordable housing. 

    One of the engineering sector's goals has been to deliver quality products at lower costs. Structural and civil engineers have used scientific methods to improve the energy efficiency and structural integrity of housing developments. Reducing redundant construction techniques and implementing streamlined management processes are two ways engineering consultants have been able to accomplish this.  

    How can affordable housing help Australia?How can affordable housing help Australia?

    In recent years, there has been an effort to not only lower the initial cost of housing, but to also find ways to reduce the costs associated with upkeep. The rising cost of fossil fuels and the parallel rise in energy costs has led engineers to consider ways to reduce the long-term costs of owning a house. 

    One way that engineers are trying to reduce the ongoing costs associated with energy is by making housing more thermally efficient. The implementation of features such as insulation and energy-conserving building materials are making an impact on energy savings. This has the effect of reducing the cost on occupants and property owners by decreasing the amount of energy they use to either cool or heat their homes. 

    If you would like to find out more about building design, talk to the experts at Burchills Engineering Solutions

  • High Rise analysis - optimising efficiency

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

    A structural engineer is responsible for making sure a building can withstand a multitude of environmental and use orientated loads ... that's the easy part.

    The Burchills structural team has the ability and tools to conduct rigorous analyses for complex structural systems and use the outputs to provide more economical as well as efficient structural solutions. The team are currently working on a number of high rise projects in South East Queensland.

    The screenshot below shows the digital model for the 47 storey Grand Central project in Southport, ready to have wind tunnel testing loadings applied. The design analysis will be used to ensure serviceability is optimised with the most efficient use of materials.

    Want to know more? Contact Himenshu Praveen on 07 5509 6400.


  • Advancing Queensland's engineering industry

    Friday, January 22, 2016

    Queensland is one of the most important engineering hubs in Australia. Whether it's civil, water or structural engineering, Queensland has it all.

    However, the Queensland government is not sitting on its laurels and aims to drive the sector forward.

    However, the state government is not sitting on its laurels. Its new scheme aims to improve the calibre of recruits and develop closer relationships with the industry.

    Queensland innovating from the bottom up

    According to the Queensland government, the state is making an effort to develop the kinds of jobs and opportunities that will be of value in today's knowledge-based economy.

    The government will invest $180 million over the course of the next four years into a pro-growth economic fund. The Advance Queensland initiative aims to drive Queensland forward and ensure that the state is a world leader in innovative new ideas.

    The state-wide project will target a number of areas for change, including education. More specifically:

    • The Advance Queensland Best and Brightest Fund will aim to attract and retain talented individuals both scientific and entrepreneurial.
    • The Advance Queensland Future Jobs Strategy will focus on developing new industry/research relationships and creating growth schedules for industries.
    • Business Investment Attraction will encourage entrepreneurial activity, support projects and attract co-investment.

    Additionally, Advance Queensland will also begin a transformation of the education sector, with the aim of instilling the kind of education that will allow Queenslanders to capitalise on future opportunities.

    How is Australia's changing family size impacting the engineering sector?How is Australia's changing family size impacting the engineering sector?

    Engineering's future prospects in Australia

    While the news has been filled with commentary on the mining slowdown and the effects this will have in other industries, Engineering is perfectly located to capitalise on non-mining-related areas.

    For one, building design and housing developments are always in need of engineering expertise.

    Australia's population is on the increase. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the nation's population has risen by 1.4 per cent between 2014 and 2015. Additionally, Queensland, like other states, is experiencing positive population growth.

    While population growth is driving the volume of housing in Queensland, so are changes to the makeup of households. Some of these offered by the Australian Institute of Family Studies include:

    • Rising age of the population
    • Advances in technology
    • Trends in immigration
    • Cultural shifts
    • Changing economic patterns

    One example of change is the shift towards smaller households, such as single-person living conditions. Without significant input from structural and civil engineers, planning processes could facilitate, rather than address, issues such as pollution, traffic congestion and service failure.

    Luckily, Queensland has a strong engineering sector and its recent efforts to develop the volume of new graduates will have a positive effect.

    If you would like to know more about how and why engineering is important to the state's future prospects, talk to the experts in the field. Contact Burchills Engineering Solutions today.