Sustainability WA

What is

Welcome to the Sustainability WA Blog!

We aim to update this regularly with all the essential information you need regarding your future build. If you have any queries feel free to contact us – we are always happy to help!

A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessment is a means of measuring the severity of a building’s potential exposure to the  three different ways a bushfire can attack a property –  ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact…

If we understand the way a bushfire is likely to behave, it will allow us to predict the intensity, rate of travel and, direction of a bushfire, in a given set of circumstances or location. Fire conditions, which a proposed development may be exposed to, can then be predicted and appropriate measures taken to ensure the best chance of survival of property and safety of occupants during a bushfire event.

Builders, Designers, Architects and the like can influence their clients to create something that can make a sustainable difference rather than just another building, or extension. By ensuring the above is well considered during the design stage this can be achieved at minimum cost. Greater knowledge and understanding about how to make adjustments and provisions to a project can make a difference to the clients ongoing costs in the long run.

Double glazing salesmen weave stories about unbeatable thermal insulation and improved efficiency of heating and cooling systems with noise attenuation thrown in as an added bonus. In the face of relentless promotion of double glazed windows as the answer to all energy efficiency needs, it is little wonder that a number of myths have emerged.

Lots are getting smaller and the ability to design a house that incorporates passive design is becoming progressively difficult. It has been noted that there are several core factors in the design process that are to be considered, there is orientation, materialistic factors such as thermal mass, ventilation, insulation, shading and glazing to be well thought out. However the chosen lot to build on can make it hard for a designer or architect and will have to work with its given location and orientation…

In our previous articles we have discussed what a BAL rating is. If you haven’t seen that article you can read it here: What is a BAL rating. But you may ask, how is a BAL rating calculated?

A BAL rating is calculated using the calculation methods in AS3959. There are two different methods cited in AS3959; The simplified procedure (Method 1) or Detailed Procedure (Method 2). In most cases, it is only necessary to use method 1 and this is what we will be concentrating on in this article.

There are fives steps to calculating a BAL Assessment…

When we picture a house or building being destroyed by a bushfire we often imagine the flames from the fire directly attacking the house overtaking the house. But did you know that houses have been lost that are over 700 metres from the fire front? And that most houses are not destroyed by direct flame contact?

Have more questions that we haven't answered?

Contact us today at or call 08 9555 9444!