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Engineered Flood Vents? Chris Will Explain

 Flood Protection Flood Vents

Engineered Flood Vents? Chris, Certified Floodplain Manager Will explain!

Engineered flood vents, what are they and what do they do?  While many homeowners are concerned with how their homes look and function on a beautiful day, it is even more important how your home functions during the most challenging times.  One of those situations is when your home is in a flood situation.  The true test during a flood is whether the homeowner has the right tools to stand up during a flood.

One of the most important things to look for on your home is whether the crawl space, the open section under most homes, are sufficiently ready for when a flood comes.  The questions to ask are, “Does my crawl space have the correct vents for flood water to escape?” or “Why is it important to know the difference between engineered and non-engineered flood vents?”

Along with Chris Qualtieri, our Certified Floodplain Manager, showing you the differences along with FEMA rules, the following are some answers to some questions you may have about engineered vents:

What is a Flood Vent?

  • A flood vent or “flood port” is a permanent opening in a wall designed to allow the unobstructed passage of water automatically in both directions in to or out of the building interior. Flood vents are intended to reduce the risk of structural damage (from the forces of floods or flood waters) for buildings located in special flood hazard areas [or “flood plains”] in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

What is the Purpose of a Flood Vent?

  • Flood vents relieve hydrostatic pressure on the foundation walls to help prevent/minimize structural damage to the building.

What is the Difference between Non-Engineered and Engineered Openings?

  • non-engineered opening is one that is simply measured by calculating the

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    Engineered Floor Vents

    opening in the vent itself. It’s the amount of air/water flow or net open area that is used to meet FEMA requirements for Flood Vents. You will require 1 square inch of free area for each square foot of enclosed space to meet the FEMA requirements.

  • An engineered opening is one that is designed and certified by a registered engineer or architect as meeting certain performance characteristics describes in FEMA Technical Bulletin 1/08.
  • If using an engineered vent then additional data must be provided. The “engineered openings must be certified by a design professional as having been designed to provide automatic equalization of hydrostatic flood forces by allowing for the entry and exit of flood waters.” In addition, the certification has to identify the building in which the engineered opening will be installed.  Design requirements and specifications for certification statements are outlined in FEMA Technical Bulletin 1-08.

The following is Chris Qualtieri, our Certified Floodplain Manager, prepared a short video showing our 8″ x 16″ Engineered Flood Vent and explaining FEMA’s rules concerning the Flood Vents:

For more information concerning Engineered Flood Vents see FEMA’s Technical Bulletin 1 / 2008

We hope you better understand Engineered Flood Vents.

Please if you have any question contact Chris at 757-274-9989 or email him at  You can also go to the following pages for additional information on flood vents:


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