Bushfire Attack Level Assessments, or more commonly known as BAL Assessments, are the means of measuring the severity of a buildings potential exposure to ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact. Introduced in December 2015, BAL assessments have made a controversial impact to the construction industry.
There are 6 different BAL ratings which require different construction inclusions for any proposed developments (renovations and new builds) whether it is residential or commercial in bushfire prone areas, as well as affecting other aspects of building such as land subdivisions.
Before purchasing a property or planning any construction works, you should always check if your site is in a BAL area and should ensure that it is taken into consideration before planning your development. In some of the most extreme circumstances, councils may not approve particular developments if the BAL rating of the site is too high.
As designers and draftsmen, this has affected North Coast Design quite significantly. We must that always take the BAL requirements into consideration with our clients designs. It is on our checklist that is completed at the beginning of any new project that we work on.
We have spoken to local Mandurah surveyor Jake Lampard (LPD Surveys) who has mentioned the drastic impact that has also had on subdivisions and property development.
It is a very controversial subject as we have spoken to many people in the building industry, including other consultants and council members that disagree with where the bushfire zones are located and the ratings that certain areas have been given.
If you would like to know more about BAL assessments then you can look on the planning WA website below or feel free to get in touch with the team at North Coast Design.
If you would like to complete a free search to find out if a block requires a BAL assessment then go to the DFES website below.