Requirements for Building in Bushfire Prone Areas

22nd January 2016
The Victorian Guide to Standards & Tolerances Passed in Tribunal Case

The WA State Government has now passed legislation which means if you are building a home or performing construction work in a designated bushfire prone area, you or a residential engineer will be required to undertake a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment. Based on the results of the assessment, you will need to comply with the bushfire construction requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

The Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment relates to the classification of bushfire intensity levels that a home may experience in the unfortunate event of a bushfire. It is determined by assessing surrounding vegetation types and distance, the slope of the land, and the proximity of adjacent buildings as well as the Fire Danger Index for the region.

The Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment will determine the specific construction and design requirements for existing or proposed structures outlined in the Australian Standard AS 3959 Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas. These requirements aim to enhance the protection of your home against possible bushfires.

A Bushfire Attack Level report provides structural engineers with site-specific information on how to design the structure to reduce the risk of ignition from bushfires. To help you identify whether or not your site is located in a designated bushfire prone area, the State Government has created a mapping standard outlining the designated bushfire prone areas across WA. Click here to access the DFES Map of Bushfire Prone Areas.

Structerre can provide you with a Bushfire Attack Level assessment in accordance with Australian Standards. The assessment will rate your site with a Bushfire Attack Level and you will receive specific design advice and requirements on the construction of the property within this area. A Bushfire Attack Level report is typically undertaken at the building permit phase and must be provided to obtain a building permit.

Click here for more detailed information and how we can assist you in this area, or contact your nearest Structerre office.

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