When is a BAL assessment required when doing an addition/extension?

30th June 2021
When is a BAL assessment required when doing an addition/extension?

What is a BAL assessment & do I need one?

A bushfire attack level (BAL) assessment is conducted to measure how prone a building site is to being exposed to an ember attack, radiant heat, and direct flame contact.

There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when assessing the severity of a potential bushfire attack for a property such as a site’s type of vegetation, typography distance from vegetation, and Fire Danger Index, which varies from state to state.

A BAL assessment aims to give an evaluation of the level of risk a site has of being affected by an ember attack in the event of a bushfire. From the BAL assessment, there is then a number of construction requirements to provide additional protection to your home including cladding, door and window selections.

If you are planning on renovating your property or adding an extension to your home, it is mandatory that you have a BAL assessment and the construction meet the requirements of AS3959 – 2018 if you are in a Bushfire Prone area, and recommended otherwise. The bushfire prone areas are designated by each of the state governments. For this reason, if you are in a Bushfire Prone area your first step in the construction process should be to get a BAL assessment completed.

The assessor may also provide options to reduce the BAL rating, which can help reduce the construction requirements. Some suggestions that a bushfire consultant can provide you with to reduce your BAL would be in regards to your asset protection zones, access, building and construction, water supplies and utilities, landscaping, and emergency management arrangements.

For your project to be approved, the BAL must be between BAL-Low and BAL-29 and approved by a BPAD accredited assessor, then assessed by State government regulations for a Complying Development Approval.

Where does Structerre come in?

Contact us today for an onsite BAL assessment of your site and desired project. Our BPAD accredited assessors will conduct a BAL assessment on your site so that you can rest with ease knowing that your property is at a lower risk from a bushfire hazard. We will grant you a BAL certificate form – provided that your property passes the assessment. With this, we will provide you with your BAL as well as bushfire protection methods to help you make your home as bushfire proof as possible.

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