BAL Rated Arkular Homes

Bushfires and grassfires are common occurrences throughout Australia.

BAL (bushfire attack level) rating is the Australian standard for determining a home’s risk of exposure to ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact, with the rating determining the construction and building requirements necessary to provide protection to homes in bushfire-prone areas.

Read on to view 5 Arkular homes that have been designed to comply with a range of BAL ratings, with considered design and conscious material selection.

1. Fish Creek House – BAL 29 

A beach-bush home designed to maximise sustainability and enhance liveability.

The home had to be built according to BAL 29 specifications. All the external walls needed to be a non-combustible material, so corrugated Colorbond was chosen for the cladding.

Silvertop ash – one of only several hardwoods deemed suitable for homes in bushfire-prone areas – was picked out for the decking and eaves. Meanwhile, blackbutt, another fire-retardant timber, was ordered for the internal flooring throughout.

A CFA water tank of 10,000L has also been included on the property for firefighting requirements.

View more about the Fish Creek House here.

2. Oxford Falls House – BAL 29 

Rewilding in action, the Oxford Falls House enhances connectivity to the natural environment.

With a BAL rating of 29, the Oxford Falls house has been externally clad in Colorbond due to its compliance with even the most extreme BAL-FZ rating.

The use of charred timber cladding (Shou Sugi Ban) at the rear of the dwelling adds textural interest and contrast, whilst also being a material that complies with the obligatory requirements of a BAL 29 rating.

A 10,000L water tank with a CFA fitting can also be installed and used to protect the property in case there is an active fire.

View the floorplan of our Oxford Falls House here. 

3. Anglesea Beach House – BAL 29

A relaxing beach getaway with considered material choices.

The exterior of the house includes a combination of sustainably sourced Silvertop Ash timber and Equitone fibre cement cladding (a combination of recycled material compressed into sheets), which are both compliant with the BAL 29 rating of the home.

Black trims, pergolas and window frames with the occasional architectural shroud outline the structure and tie all the materials together. The juxtaposition of colours & textures creates a modern yet warm and humble aesthetic to the home.

Learn more about our Anglesea Beach House.

4. Bonnie Doon House – BAL 12.5 

A relaxing rural home that is respectful of its environmental impact.

The Bonnie Doon House makes a feature of using sustainably sourced Australian timbers, both internally and externally, to tie this home into its natural landscape and to comply with the home’s 12.5 BAL rating.

The Victorian Ash board and batten cladding and Tasmanian Oak decking will naturally weather with time, silvering off to create a rusticated effect. The timber is juxtaposed against the vertical Colorbond corrugated sheet cladding, which creates a successful contrast of texture and materiality.

Sustainable features of this home include a large 4000L water tank for rainwater reuse, double-glazed windows, window shading, low VOC paints, high-grade insulation to walls, floor and ceiling, efficient water fixtures, and ceiling fans.

View more about our Bonnie Doon House here.

5. Arkular Flame Zone Home – BAL FZ

A home designed for the most extreme level of fire rating, the Ark Flame Zone Home fully complies with the most extreme BAL rating requirements, including:

– Analysis of the property in collaboration with the bushfire consultant.
– Form extrudes over the veranda, so there is a refuge and protection from the elements.
– The exterior is clad in Fire Crunch, a lightweight material that resists fire, water, sound, termites, impact and mould.  View how it withstands the heat.
– Thicker glass windows and sliding doors than standard with the highest quality finish with a priority to maximise safe solar gain and views.
– Customisable position of the modular home and windows to reduce bushfire risk by planting vegetation as a fire blocker, not a starter.
– Commercial fire-rated doors and windows.
– Use DecoDecking, an attractive yet fire-safe alternative to the traditional timber deck, Or use fibre cement decking.
– Customised to the site with necessary tweaks will be required to meet individual requirements.
– External shutters are concealed behind all openings, and fire collars are to all penetrations.

View the full Flame Zone Home design here.

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