Building in designated bush fire prone areas
Changes to requirements in designated bush fire prone areas
In Western Australia, building work is required to comply with the performance requirements of the Building Code of Australia (the Building Code), which comprises Volumes One and Two of the National Construction Code Series.
The Building Code contains specific bush fire construction requirements for certain residential buildings in designated bush fire prone areas that aim to reduce the risk of ignition from a bush fire.
Areas identified on the Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas trigger these requirements.
To find out more, click on the following link:
Construction in bush fire prone areas – information sessions
A series of regional roadshows, south west and metropolitan “construction in bush fire prone areas” seminars provided builders, building surveyors, permit authorities and the industry an opportunity to hear and engage with presenters from and on behalf of the Building Commission. The presentations covered:
- an overview of building and planning bushfire reform;
- amendments to the Building Regulations in relation to building approvals;
- Steps on the general bush fire requirements for a single house; and
- construction requirements of AS3959.
An updated version of the presentation slides are available below for general guidance. Please note the slides are not comprehensive and should not be relied on for compliance purposes. You should always refer to the relevant legislation and standards.
Roof-mounted evaporative coolers
From 8 April 2016 new roof-mounted evaporative coolers being installed on residential buildings that are located in a designated bush fire prone area must be fitted with non-combustible covers.
Transition for alterations and extensions in bush fire prone areas
The building legislation of Western Australia requires new building work to comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA). The term building work includes the renovation, alteration, extension, improvement or repair to a building or incidental structure.
To assist in the implementation of the new bush fire reforms in response to the Keelty Report into the Perth Hills 2011 bush fires, a two year transition, until 1 May 2018, of the BCA bush fire construction requirements has been provided to certain renovations, alterations, extensions, improvements or repairs in designated bush fire prone areas.
Transitional bush fire application to modify or not apply a bush fire building standard
The Building Regulations 2012 were amended on 8 February 2017 to introduce a transitional process for making streamlined applications under section 39 of the Building Act 2011 for seeking a declaration from the Building Commissioner for the non-application or modification of a bush fire building standard.
The Building Commissioner can only make a declaration when satisfied that the declaration would not increase the risk to people, property or the environment and that making the declaration is:
- in the public interest; or
- consistent with the purpose of any other written law or Commonwealth law.
See the following for further information:
- Guidance note – Section 39 transitional bush fire application to modify or not apply a bush fire building standard
- Guidance note – Guide for Level 3 Bushfire Planning Practitioner – Performance: Transitional bush fire application
- Form BA24A – Application for modification or non-application of a bush fire building standard
- Industry Bulletin 77 – Building Amendment Regulations 2017
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