© BAL Assessments - What is a BAL



Determining the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL)
In accordance with Australian Standard AS 3959

Contact us for a quote to do your BAL report

The Victorian Government introduced bushfire regulations on 8 September 2011 which currently designate 97% of the State as
bushfire prone and called up the 2009 edition of Australian Standard 3959-2009 – Building in bushfire prone
areas as the new construction standard. This standard was revised in November 2018 with AS3959-2018.

If your property is in a designated Bushfire Prone Area, a site assessment is required to be carried out for all
building permit applications for both new homes and renovations to existing homes,
regardless of whether or not vegetation is present on or adjacent to the site.

The reason for this is that the relevant building surveyor (RBS) issuing the building permit will need to be satisfied
that the correct level of construction has been applied to the building as per the new Standard.

A BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) is a means of measuring a building’s potential exposure to ember attack,
radiant heat and direct flame contact, in a bushfire event. It is a basis for establishing the requirements for
construction to improve protection of building elements from attack by bushfire.

Note that under the Building Amendment (Bushfire Construction) Regulations 2011 which came into effect on
8 September 2011, in designated bushfire prone areas a minimum construction standard of BAL-12.5
for ember protection now applies.

Measuring the distance from vegetation that may pose a threat is most important and the Standard requires that
measurements are taken horizontally from vegetation to the external wall of the proposed building,
or for parts of the building that do not have external walls
(including carports, verandas, decks, landings, steps and ramps), to the supporting posts or columns.

The following parts of the building are excluded when determining the distance to vegetation:
>> Eaves and roof overhangs.
>> Rainwater and domestic fuel tanks.
>> Chimneys, pipes, cooling or heating appliances or other services.
>> Unroofed pergolas.
>>Sun blinds.
>> Landings, terraces, steps and ramps, not more than 1 m in height.

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We would welcome the opportunity of expanding on any of the points mentioned above.


BAL ASSESSMENTS
Mobile: 0417 885 747
email: [email protected]
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