New publication from Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia highlights concrete as an ideal choice for bushfire-prone buildings
With the bushfire season fast approaching, homeowners and builders will be thinking of how to ensure their properties are as fire resistant as possible.
Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia has just released a new publication, Briefing 10: Building in Bushfire-prone Areas, which highlights non-combustible materials such as concrete and masonry as being the ideal material for homes and buildings in bushfire-prone areas.
Intended for use by those involved in the design and construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas including building designers, architects, builders, local authorities, developers and owners, the publication presents concrete and masonry solutions that can be used throughout a building.
As a design principle, a building’s envelope should be constructed from non-combustible and robust materials such as concrete and masonry. This means that when subjected to the extreme heat of a bushfire for a short time, the dense and bulky building materials will heat slowly and will therefore be less susceptible to heat stress.
Aside from the building envelope, CCAA highlight numerous other areas can be considered, here is a sample:
- Walls - External walls should be non-combustible and brick walls are a popular option
- Floors - A reinforced concrete slab in contact with the ground minimises the likelihood of floor ignitions and fire access underneath a building
- Doors and windows - Doors should have steel frames and windows should have robust-section powder coated aluminium fames
- Shutters - Should be permanently fixed to the building. They will screen the glazing from radiant heat and prevent embers and debris lodging on sills
- Roofs - Need to be designed for high positive and negative wind loads and should be fixed as required by the BCA for wind speeds from N1 to C4
- Attached structures and carports - Should be constructed from non-combustible materials, and the pavement area they sit one should be a concrete slab, or segmental paving
- Surrounding areas - Pavements, steps, handrails, and fences can all be made from non-combustible materials. Fences should also be able to withstand high winds
Briefing 10 also details a host of useful information on the nature of bushfire attacks, what can be done to prepare buildings for an attack, and what maintenance needs to be carried out afterwards.
Briefing 10: Building in Bushfire-prone Areas can be downloaded for free from the CCAA website.