Ad campaign launched for wood in bushfire prone areas

You can use timber framing and wood in other applications in BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) rated locations, that’s the message of a new newspaper campaign launched by industry body Forest and Wood Products Australia Ltd (FWPA).

With the height of bushfire season approaching for many Australians, thoughts turn to designing and building to minimise the risk of damage to homes in areas that may be affected. While many people imagine that doing so would preclude the use of wood, it is not the case.

Designing to ‘build out’ bushfires requires minimising the risk of ember, radiant heat and even flame damage. With appropriate design decisions, attractive timber homes can be built, using sustainably sourced wood and wood products both inside and out.

“Understanding what is required for each BAL is actually quite straightforward,” said Boris Iskra, an engineer who is the National Manager of Codes and Standards at FWPA. In Australia, the Standard AS 3959–2009 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas has the benefit of many years of scientific development and provides an extensive guide to building homes to minimise risk for different levels of bushfire vulnerability.”

Through the WoodSolutions website, FWPA provides a range of resources to help owners, designers and builders enjoy the aesthetic, functional and environmental benefits of wood in BAL locations, while meeting the requirements of the Australian Standard.

These free resources, which are referred to in the newspaper ad, include a comprehensive free design guide, Building with Timber in Bushfire-prone Areas, a calculator that allows people to estimate the BAL of their site and an expert advice service through which people can seek answers to their bushfire design-related questions.

“I encourage people to go to the web address in the ad – – and look at the resources,” said Mr Iskra, “it would be a great pity if people missed out on gaining all the advantages of wood just because they didn’t have the information about how to use it in ways that comply with the Standard.

Photo: Woody the Woodbot who features prominently in the new ad campaign

Source: FWPA

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