Let us demystify your bushfire construction requirements
Living within the a beautiful green corridor that is Lake Macquarie and Newcastle means that you likely are dealing with having a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) attached to your new construction.
If you are building an extension the BAL requirements apply to the new section of your home only.
A BAL rating will be applied to your construction if your property is considered at risk of attack from a bushfire and the level that applies will vary according to the assessed risk. In fact you may have more than one BAL rating attached to your project as the risk may be very high in one direction but not so concerning from another direction. The ratings start at the lowest BAL 12.5 and move through to BAL 19, BAL 29, BAL 40 and then Flame Zone. If you are in a flame zone it is considered you are at a very high risk of bushfire attack. The NSW Rural Fire Service has detailed resources on Bushfire prevention and construction planning.
What does this mean to your building project?
It means that your home will have more safeguards than in the old days in the event of a bushfire and hopefully that will help save people and property. It also means that your home will have to comply with specific construction techniques and materials that are in accordance with requirements of the BAL rating applicable to your home. The higher the risk, the more specialised the construction techniques and materials become. It is essential that you engage a quality builder with experience and specialised knowledge of building in bushfire prone areas
There are lots of horror stories about how it is too expensive to build in a bushfire prone area. Whilst there is usually additional cost involved there is also additional protection, less maintenance, better quality building and the opportunity for to use some genuine creativity in design and finishes!