March Newsletter – BAL Assessments


APRIL 8TH IS COMING. ARE YOU READY?

ON APRIL THE 8TH new laws will state that every new building or renovation will have to get a Bushfire Attack Level Assessment completed if your proposed residence falls within the Map of Bushfire Prone Areas.

A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessment is a means of measuring the severity of a buildings potential exposure to ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact in a bushfire event, and thereby determining the construction measures required for the dwelling.

You only have to have a BAL assessment done if your property falls within the current designated bush fire prone areas, as on the Map of Bushfire Prone Areas.
The BAL assessment takes into account several factors including the Fire Danger Index, the slope of the land, types of vegetation and how close it is to the proposed building.
Once a BAL is calculated, building construction requirements can be calculated from the relevant sections of the Australian standard to ensure the correct resistance to bushfires. These requirements take into account the BAL rating for attack from burning embers, radiant heat and flame contact.

WHAT THE BAL RATING MEANS

x BAL Low is the lowest possible rating and there is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements
x BAL 12.5 indicates that an ember attack is likely in a bushfire.
x BAL 19 means that increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers together with increasing heat flux.
x BAL 29 indicates increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers together with increasing heat flux
x BAL 40 this is the second highest BAL rating, resulting in increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers together with increasing heat flux with the increased likelihood of exposure to flames
x BAL Flame Zone is the highest possible BAL rating and direct exposure to flames from the fire front in addition to heat flux and ember attack is highly possible.

You need to have a BAL assessment before lodging your plans to council; otherwise your building plans will be rejected. It is best to have a BAL assessment done before your plans are complete, as you may need to change your design to suit the requirements of your BAL rating.

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