When it comes to construction in bushfire prone areas in Australia, the bushfire risk for a particular building is defined by its BAL, or known as Bushfire Attack Level. This risk level is usually rated by a qualified bushfire consultant who examines the location and prepares a bushfire report or a bushfire risk assessment. In the event of a fire, the BCA (Building Code of Australia) specifies requirements for walls and ceilings in terms of fire performance, and the Australian Standard AS 3959-2009 cover the requirements for the Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas.
The standard stipulates six Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL), ranging from low risk to very high risk:
- BAL 12.5
- BAL 19
- BAL 29
- BAL 40
- BAL – FZ (flame zone)
The BAL is applicable to class 1 & class 10 buildings in designated bushfire prone areas. Materials and systems used in these buildings are required to meet the Australian Standard and State Bushfire Authority construction and performance.
Bushfire protection requirements for the lower BAL categories from BAL-Low to BAL 40 range from ember protection to the use of non-combustible materials. However, in the high risk BAL – FZ (Flame Zone), a 30 min fire rating of the building surrounding elements and sub-floor structure is required.
Fire rated floor and ceiling systems specifically designed for protecting exposed floors in bushfire prone zones are also installed in order to satisfy requirements. On the outside, there are fire rated external wall systems for buildings as an alternative to concrete or for the protection of unoccupied spaces such as sheds and warehouses. Additionally, separating wall systems are installed for protection between attached rooms such as separating garages and occupied areas to ensure occupant safety during the attack of a fire.
PGP Plastering specialises in commercial plastering of all buildings including construction in bushfire prone areas. Our professional and expert installation of fire rated solutions confidently meets the requirements for all BAL levels, including the BAL – FZ, ensuring maximum safety for occupants in the building.
As a trusted industry leader in commercial plastering with over 30 years of experience, we have specialist plastering teams strategically located throughout Queensland, including Townsville, Brisbane, Gold Coast; and Northern NSW, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth; assisting businesses with all their commercial plastering needs Australia-wide.