Building in bushfire zones

Bushfires are a fact of Australian life. When building in a bushfire zone, one of the most important considerations is your choice of building materials.

All Hebel products have exceptional fire properties and meet or exceed the requirements for all six Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) categories, making it the top choice when building in a bushfire zone.

Why choose Hebel?

With exceptional fire properties, Hebel is non-combustible and won’t explode – even under extreme heat.

It is versatile making it suitable for a range of building applications on properties within the bushfire prone areas. These include external cladding, internal walls, floors, decks and fences.
You will love the rendered finish and clean look of the Hebel PowerPanelXL external wall system. It has an FRL of 180/180/180 and is termite resistant.

The PowerBlock+ external wall system offers an FRL of 240/240/240 and boasts excellent acoustic and thermal qualities.
 Both PowerFloor and PowerFloor+ systems provide the solid feel of a concrete floor for your home and can be easily tiled when used for decks and verandahs.
 PowerFence is an extremely attractive modular fencing system that provides an efficient privacy and noise barrier. It features non-combustible panels and steel posts.

Meeting bushfire requirements

In 2009, the Australian Standards AS3959-2009 ‘Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas’ was introduced to improve the resistance of buildings to bushfire attacks resulting from burning embers, radiant heat, flame contact and combinations of the three.

The standard includes a method for assessing categories of bushfire attacks called Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL) in areas that have been classified by authorities as being ‘bushfire prone’.

A building surveyor will use BAL to check compliance with the construction requirements of the standard.  All building approvals issued within  bushfire prone areas are required to build to BAL 12.5 standards as a minimum even if the site specific BAL assessment is low.

All Hebel products and systems meet or exceed the requirements for all six Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) categories making Hebel the smart choice for building in bushfire zones.

Hebel systems for each BAL level

Hebel System BAL-Low BAL-12.5 BAL-19 BAL-29 BAL-40 BAL-FZ
External Walls PowerBlock+
PowerPanelXL
Floors PowerFloor+
PowerFloor
Subfloor Supports PowerBlock+
Verandahs, Decks PowerFloor+
PowerFloor

Definition of BAL Levels

Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Description of predicted Bushfire Attack and levels of exposure
BAL-Low There is not sufficient risk to warrant exposure
BAL-12.5 Ember attack
BAL-19 Increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers together with increasing heat flux between 12.5 and 19kW m2
BAL-29 Increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers together with increasing heat flux between 19 and 29kW m2
BAL-40 Increasing lebels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers together with increasing heat flux with the increased likelihood of exposure to flames
BAL-FZ Direct exposure to flames from fire front in addition to heat flux and ember attack
“Hebel is our go to product for bushfire zones. It allows us to design with freedom knowing it has all the properties we need to keep the home and our client safe and protected.” – Darren Evans, Solar Solutions Design.

Gillion and Peter Stephens share why they chose Hebel when building their home on a bush fire zone.

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