AS-3959 Construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas how this affects you?

The general pubic may or may not be a where of this legislation until it finds you.

The bush fire categories start at BAL-LOW, BAL 12-5, BAL-19, BAL-29, BAL-40 & the grand daddy BAL-FZ (build a house with in a fire storm) type scenario

If you are buying or have already brought land- Watch out! Know what additional costs are going to be.

It is not simply feasible, practible or cost effective to build a house in a BAL-FZ zone & bad enough for the BAL-40).

From a recent job study, we estabilished that, to build a (2 storey- 400m²) house with in a BAL-29 will be costing you an additional 10% of normal build price.

This legislation was picked up by the QLD government & implimented this year. I wounder if anyone cared to look through it?

The cheapest way to fire rate a house in BAL-29 (windows only at this point) is that you will need Mesh with minimum apperture of 2mm, 5mm toughened glass, steel hardware & the window itself made from materials with flammability no greater than 5. This means from our case study the windows went from $8500 to $18,500 (did have quote of $42k) thats not counting the screens at $10,500.

On a BAL-29 only the opening portions of the window require screens. On a BAL-40 both the fixed & opening require it, plus the glass goes to 6mm toughened. Therefore you could probably add another $5k for the screens alone. (Note: that the sides of the building away from the preceived fire front can be down graded one)

This also applies to Glazing in doors (sliding & hinged).

Heres my point!!

More people die from fires that start in a house than from bush fires each year.

  1. How do you get out of a burning house if in the case of a BAL-40 every glass panel is toughened & every glass panel has a burglar proof screen on it
  2. How does the fire service get into a burning house?

Did anyone think about that when rolling out this legislation?

If we where to concentrate as much energy & money into driver training each year I think we would save many more lives.

Don’t get me wrong we need to protect lives & property from bush fire attacks but a blanket cover that applies to surburban area’s as much as rural is completly out of context.


Yours faithfully,

Dazza (more…)

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Block Selection & Orientation

The design of a house or an addition to a home requires a systematic and rationale approach to design. Design is about combining creative concepts with form and function.  Begin your design process by looking around at display homes or through design magazines, identify what you want, and what you can afford. Once you have the basic plan and design elements worked out you can start to talk about designing your project. Some issues that you should now start to consider are:

  • Selection of the block
  • Energy efficiency requirements and building alignment
  • Life style
  • Budget

    Selection of the block

    Many people starting out to build their dream home tend to look at a block of land and then seek to get a house to fit. Many building developers create a sub division from a secured allotment of land. In order to make a profit a developer will identify the number of blocks they need and where those blocks need to be located. They are required to put in power and other services with a minimum street size.  The prevailing decision is rarely what the client wants but what profit can be created from the venture.

    However, as the customer you can choose the block that suits what you want to do with it. A couple of design tips that may help you are:

    Do you want the sun in the house and if so where and when do you want it to come in?

    Ideally the building should be positioned to catch the winter sun, especially in South East Queensland. However, in warmer tropical climates it is better to reduce sun exposure to the windows by having wider sofits. Other design tips you may want to consider are:

    Face low traffic area rooms to the south east including:

    • Garages
    • Laundry
    • Wet areas
    • Generally rooms that can be blocked off

    Face certain areas north west to north east including:

    • Living areas
    • Dining
    • Decks
    • Bedrooms

    Life Style

    • Do you entertain? If so do you need a veranda or outdoor entertaining area?
    • Do you require drive through access to the backyard?
    • What storage do you want?
    • How many rooms and where do you want them located?
    • How many car parks?
    • Do you need a shed or workshop?
    • Do you want a walk in robe?
    • Do you need/want an ensuite?

    Once you have a bit of a picture of what you are looking for in a house you should probably reconsider your block purchase and may be pay a little more for a block that will enable you to build the home you want.


    This is probably the most defining factor in your whole design. Consider the very maximum you are prepared to pay.  Building the house is only part of the equation.  You need to consider the type of fittings, floor coverings, white goods and landscaping. (more…)

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    Copyright Info – How does Copyright Work become protected?

    Information here has been sourced from the BDAQ Copyright Handbook, by R D Brandon First edition Aug 2001 & permission granted to use it.

    For most of us there is a misconception as to what is Copyright.

    The Copyright laws are most difficult to fully understand & even more difficult to manage.

    For this reason I will only tough briefly on the subject to hopefully provide some insight.


    This in its self is wide open to contest.

    How does Copyright Work become protected?

    We know that the protection provided by copyright law requires no special action, no cost for registration or the like. It begins as soon as pen hits paper & lasts for 50 years after the author dies.

    Provided the work is not a copy & that it is the product of the author’s skill & effort.

    You can add a copyright notice but it is not required in Australia. (more…)

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    The Copyright Owner

    The Copyright owner: THE AUTHOR OF THE ORIGINAL WORK

    Generally the person who gives “expression to the ideas or information”

    i.e. The person who does the drawing even if it is a drawing of someone else’s ideas.


    • An employee preparing drawings under the terms of employment does not own copyright.
    • Government usually retains copyright in work prepared on their behalf.

    Only the copyright owner can reproduce- photocopy, hand copy, computer readable version, make public for the first time or broadcast or transmit the material.

    But the client can use the work for the purpose it for which it was created. (more…)

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    Copyright Infringements

    You may be infringing on a copyright by:

    Reproducing, making public, broadcasting the work or part of the work (not necessarily a proportionally large part but should be an important part).

    Authorising any of the above &/or using material that infringes the above.

    Note that importing; selling or distributing infringing material is also an infringement of copyright.

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    Copywrite Summary


    • No copyright exists in ideas or concepts
    • Client does not own copyright
    • Designer owns copyright in designs & drawings
    • Designer licences the client to use the work


    • Client owns copyright in the sketch
    • Client provides licence for the designer to use the work for a purpose
    • Designer owns copyright in the design & drawings produced by the designer
    • Client can take the original sketch but not any work produced by the designer to another to complete identical work

    You cannot prepare a new drawing by copying another designer’s work even if requested to do so by the client who provided an original sketch to the other designer. You can prepare new drawings from the original sketch, but you must maintain a full file on how the design was developed from the sketch. (more…)

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