Things to consider before building on a sloping blockJuly 13, 2018
t Schlager Residential, we pride ourselves on being able to deliver a range of quality residential homes in a range of tough conditions. From coastal home builds to building on sloping land, we have a wealth of experience and knowledge and will ensure your home is designed to suit the area you live in.
An important factor that homes in South West Australia experience every summer is to ensure their homes are safe and protected from bushfires. Designing a home to withstand a bushfire is about balancing the bushfire resilience of the house, the visual qualities of the home, the aesthetic appeal of the surroundings and the cost of the home build.
At Schlager Residential, we have decades of experience in building in these areas and know the importance of ensuring your home is bush fire safe. By following the guidelines below you can learn more about what you need to do ensure your home is bush fire safe this summer.
Building to the right standard
Regulators have looked to continually improve bushfire protection of standard Australian homes by implementing a range of measures from the Australian Standard 3959. This standard covers everything from sub-floor supports and floors to roofs, verandahs and gas pipes.
For houses that are built using steel frames, a new bushfire safety standard has also been developed by The National Association Of Steel-Frame Housing (NASH). NASH take a rigorous approach to the best way to design and build steel frames in a bushfire prone environment. Using this standard allows home builders to effectively use the steel to act (as much as possible) as a barrier to the bushfire rather than relying on external cladding to protect the frame.
Designing houses for the fire zone
One of the major factors when designing a home to be bushfire protected is whether the home is in ‘the flame zone’ or in a area with lower bushfire attack levels.
For residential homes that are in the flame zone, the roof insulation requirements are significantly more stringent in order to maintain the overall structural integrity of the home. This includes things such as including a layer of reflective insulation blanket under the roof sheeting which helps protect the steel roof trusses if the roof is directly exposed to flames. Houses with lower Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL) ratings do not require the same level of protection.
These standards also take into account facts such as all external doors in the flame zone needing built using steel frames, without glass panels and using fire resistant seals.
In addition to following the Australian design standards as discussed above, there are many additional small things you can do around the home to protect your home as much as possible.
- Cleaning your gutters and installing gutter guards
- Cleaning your yard regularly
- Servicing your power tools and ensuring they are free of any potential fire hazards
- Sealing all other gaps in your home
- Stocking up on emergency supplies
If you are interested in learning more about ensuring your next home build is protected against bushfires, get in touch
with the experienced team at Schlager Residential today!