While we can’t control the fires we do know about the design and construction of buildings in Bushfire areas to allow for the Australian dream of living within the landscape. Our Leura house has been developed with bushfire design principles to meet the bushfire standards and codes, namely the Building Code of Australia, and Australian Standard 3959.
The key differences between bushfire design and traditional architectural design are that bushfire design uses a range of fire-resistant alternatives, not just with the construction materials, but in the design layout and systems being used. Bushfire design principles used generally seek to protect the home from burning debris. The Leura house seeks to protect the house and its occupants from fire danger by using principles which are integrated into the design. These principles include an uncomplicated plan allowing ease of access to the property, simple rooflines, window protection, inbuilt water storage, fire-resistant materials (where necessary) and sprinkler systems.
The materiality of the house includes face brickwork, off-form concrete (forming covered verandas and awnings), fire rated windows and shutters (concealed and for solar protection as well).
Each house in a bushfire prone area is given a level of risk called a Bushfire Attack Level or BAL which determines the development requirements. More information about these levels can be found here. Our Leura house has a BAL Flame Zone rating, the highest risk level, so maximum resistance is required.
How we are assisting with the recent fires:
For those who have been affected or know of family or friends who have been affected by the recent fires, the Australian Institute of Architects has launched Architects Assist (founded by Atelier Jiri Lev ) which has been setup to offer pro bono design and planning assistance to those who lost everything and did not have sufficient means to start rebuilding their lives and livelihoods http://architectsassist.com.au/ Porebski Architects has stepped up to this great initiative and look forward to assisting those in need.