Bushfire Prone Areas

Planning conditions and building approvals in Western Austral are continually changing. A lot of suburbs are now subject to BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) assessments.

BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) assessments

Because the WA State Government passed a law that if you are building in a bushfire prone area, you will be need to have a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment.

Central Avenue Homes has associations with leading industry experts to help our clients receive the best advice at the lowest possible cost.

The BAL assessment will advise what you need to add to your home to comply with the regulations.  It relates to the classification of bushfire intensity levels.

A BAL assessment will take into account the following:-

  • surrounding plants and trees
  • types of plants and trees,  and distance from the building,
  • slope of the land,
  • how close other buildings are to the proposed design
  • Fire danger index for the region

Click on the link below to read more about the requirements for building in bushfire prone areas

structerre.com.au/requirements-for-building-in-bushfire-prone-areas

The Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment will determine specific construction and design requirements noted in the Australian Standard AS 3959 Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas.

BAL requirements are put in place to protect your home against possible bushfires.

A Bushfire Attack Level report provides engineers with specific information on your site how to design the structure to reduce the risk from bushfires.

The State Government has created a mapping standard that shows the bushfire prone areas across Western Australia. To see if your site is in a bushfire prone area, click on the link below.

http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/regulationandcompliance/bushfireproneareas/Pages/default.aspx

 

Bushfire image showing why the bal assessments are important

Image courtesy of Structerre Consulting Engineers

The assessment will provide;-

  • BAL rating for your site which will list specific design requirements for the construction of your home
  • An example of BAL assessment requirements are
    • Ember proof fly screens (metal mesh)
    • Ember proof weep holes in the brickwork (covered in mesh)
    • Anitcon over the entire roof including all flashed areas
    • Ember kit for the garage door
    • Ember proof flume vents to the roof
    • Fire blankets to walls

A Bushfire Attack Level assessment is applied for at the same time for an engineers site classification report. Both of these engineering reports will be required when submitting to the shire for a building permit.

  • What is a BAL assessment and why do you need one

A BAL assessment is a report from an engineer providing a bushfire rating with specific information for your site:-

    • that will help them to design the structure.
    • how to reduce the risk of ignition from bushfires, ember attack and radiant heat.
    • Unfortunately, if your block is in a bushfire prone area, you will need a BAL assessment to be able to get a building permit.
  • What does this mean for you?

    • A BAL assessment is not required for every lot, so the cost of the report will be an additional cost.
    • A BAL assessment will add additional construction costs to your home.
    • The higher the BAL rating, unfortunately, the higher the cost will be to comply with the report.
    • A BAL rating can range from low, to BAL- FZ – extreme risk (Flame Zone).