Life Is Slowly Returning
For the last several months, Australia has been tormented by natural disasters caused by extreme weather, from destructive fires worsened by drought, to flash flooding that occurred when that drought suddenly ended. You can see photos of the damage that the bushfires have already done to wildlife and communities.
Plants that have evolved to shield their buds from fire so they can quickly re-sprout after being burnt at the surface, or even take advantage of the nutrients in ash, are called pyrophytic plants. It’s not uncommon to see them blooming en masse after a devastating fire, and the brilliant greens and reds contrast against the blackened landscape have a stunning visual effect. But even though the cycle of being burnt and growing back again is normal for Australia’s vegetation, the plant and animal survivors still face challenges.
The beauty and sheer resilience of nature that can be seen after such horrific devastation.
So how fireproof can you actually be?
Just to name a few, but let's start from the ground up.
Building in bushfire prone areas can come with a raft of issues, from a difficult to access site, a house design that includes a basement wall located below the water table or a location that requires building products rated for use in BAL-FZ areas, which are prone to the worst bush-fire conditions.
Dincel structural walling is a permanent polymer formwork system that can address these issues with one solution. Dincel says it has been assessed to meet the NCC bushfire regulations for BAL-FZ areas in accordance with AS 3959. It has also been tested to other fire regulations by a NATA-registered laboratory, including ISO 9705–Deemed to satisfy (Group 1, SMOGRA 14); AS 5113/BA 8414 (Performance Solution); and AS 1530.4–FRL between 90/90/90 and 240/240/240. #Dincel
Dincel is lightweight, and with an international patent for its snap lock technology, allows for easy manoeuvrability and assembly onsite. With relatively simple installation provisions and no need for cranage, builders can save on construction time and labour.
In a site that is hard to access where basement walls are involved, Dincel’s ability to work as a waterproof permanent formwork skin, even when below the water table, may reduce the amount of excavation required for the build. This skin means you don’t need the extra room for access to install waterproofing membranes on the wall surface when compared to blockwork or standard formwork methods, translating to more cost-savings in labour and waterproofing membrane materials.
Dincel says its panels and panel joints have been tested and assessed by CSIRO as waterproof under a six-metre head pressure, and therefore can be used for swimming pools or water tanks in a bushfire area. https://www.dincel.com.au/
“Whats really important, is rethinking the materials we build with!”
Firstly, determine if your property is located in a bush fire area.
The new regulations can vary between states and territories and it’s important to know the classification of your area and what the building requirements are before you begin planning your future bushfire proof house.Its important to speak with an assessor in your area, so you can have your property assessed by a consultant that will lead you through any necessary procedures and planning. http://www.newcastlebushfire.com.au/bushfire-services/
Its not everything but just a couple of thought provoking elements that can make a difference to your new home being more resistant in the event of a fire. No, it doesn't necessarily mean a concrete bunker, but using materials such as aluminium, steel framing or concrete are certainly an advantage when thinking non combustible materials. So too, is the sealing off cavities that can allow embers and drafts to carry the fire into the home.
Installing steel mesh guards on guttering so no accumulation of leaf matter can ignite. Protective shutters on windows and doors. All the above will be determined by your accredited Bushfire consultant.
Structural Insulated Wall Panel Systems (SIPS)
Walls constructed with a modular wall and flooring system can create a more fire resistant building.
Panels are fire rated for FRL 60/60/60 and 90/90/90, and are suitable for use in Bushfire locations. SIPs can be used as the structural wall, roof and floor components in all BAL zones. BAL requirement are based on the cladding systems proposed. We do recommend that our technical team are contacted prior to any final design, particularly with relation to BAL 40 and FZ.
With better planning and smarter building methodologies we are trying to ensure there are more homes for these lives to return to when it's deemed safe, and the fire is over.