Whether your plans are approved for construction, or you’re at the very start of the planning minefield, we can help you.
- Do you live in a bushfire zone?
- Do you need an architect or building designer who understands how to create great designs with bushfire requirements in mind?
- Are you looking for a pragmatic bushfire consultant?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these question call Mark today!
Building in a bushfire zone can be complicated and difficult to understand. At Newmark we understand how it all fits together. We can assist you with: our specialist knowledge of the building code to the Australian Standard; recommend specialist bushfire consultants; and product information to keep your building experience simple and on track.
The best way to access our expertise is to phone Mark for a chat.
Here are three ideas to help you on your way
- Register for our client information hub for useful links and documents
- Keep an eye out on our blog for articles about building in a bushfire zone
- Follow us on facebook and pop us in your ‘newsfeed’ to keep updated on blog articles, new content added to the client information hub, and general information for enhancing your home
Frequently asked bushfire questions
What is a bushfire zone?
A bushfire zone is land categorised by the Rural Fire Service as being bushfire prone land. There are six Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL ratings) each with different requirements for renovating or building aimed at increasing the survivability of the development and the occupants if exposed to a bushfire.
The Australian Standard 3959 – Building in Bushfire Prone Areas, (AS 3959), was referenced by the Building Code of Australia (BCA) from May 2010. From that date new building applications are subject to the construction requirements of the standard.
Why is building in a bushfire zone difficult?
The main reason people experience difficulty when considering building in a bushfire zone, especially in the planning and design stage, is the myriad of information about a topic they aren’t overly familiar with. It is also often difficult to get good consistent information on the topic as many people hear conflicting advice from people who claim to know what they are talking about.
The second is that it is a multi-layered process with many stages and people required to be involved in the process – from councils and certifiers to product suppliers and consultants – all have different stakes in the game, and expect home owners to understand how to fulfil their obligations.
An example of this is that council isn’t concerned with the building specifications when they approve a design. Council is concerned with things such as overshadowing and privacy of neighbours, building heights and setbacks. It isn’t until construction and certification that bushfire specifications are questioned. If something gets overlooked through an inadequate understanding of the process it can be very expensive to rectify.
Thirdly, most builders have never even heard of bushfire zones. This means you have a good chance of having a home built which doesn’t meet the compliance requirements. If this is the case your home may not be certified for occupation, and may also affect sale at a later date. In addition not complying with the regulations may compromise your family’s safety.
How did we become the ‘bushfire builder’?
Newmark is the only builder in Australia who specialises in building in bushfire zones. This came about initially through delivering a number of projects in bushfire zones, leading us to thoroughly investigate the topic. From there we discovered the subject was in dire need for someone who understood what was required, the products that were available and the process as home owners were struggling to find good advice.
What is a bushfire builder?
As we said earlier, most builders have never heard of bushfire zones and many run a mile if the topic gets mentioned. We love the topic because we have taken the time to educate ourselves as to what it all means, how the legislation fits together and what its intention is, what products are available and the best way to achieve cost effective outcomes.
With all this knowledge combined we love that we are able to help our clients by guiding them through the process. The look on a potential clients face after our first meeting is often one of relief to have finally found someone who understands everything they have been trying to get their head around.
If I live on bushfire prone land, why is a bushfire builder important to my building project?
As we specialise in bushfire construction, we are able to offer greater value to our bushfire clients. Being involved in this speciality for a number of years we have heard stories about the wrong windows being installed, timber decks having to be removed or modified and even a whole roof which needed to come off and be replaced. We can guarantee this won’t happen on any of our projects and something we are sure no homeowner would ever want to experience.
Where do we work?
We primarily work on Sydney’s north shore, particularly in the Willoughby, Warringah, Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby council areas.
Listed below are the primary bushfire zone areas of Sydney that we cover. If your area is not listed below but you are looking for a quality residential builder to carry out your renovation or new build project, please call us to discuss working in your area.
North shore and northern Sydney suburbs with a high percentage of bushfire prone areas of land where we work: Allambie Heights, Beacon Hill, Beecroft, Belrose, Belrose West, Castle Cove, Castlecrag, Chatswood, Chatswood West, Cheltenham, Cromer, Davidson, Duffys Forest, East Killara, East Lindfield, Forestville, Frenchs Forest, Gordon, Ingleside, Killara, Killarney Heights, Lane Cove, Lane Cove North, Lane Cove West, Lindfield, Lindfield West, Longueville, Manly Vale, Middle Cove, Normanhurst, North Balgowlah, North Epping, North Turramurra, North Wahroonga, North Willoughby, Northwood, Oxford Falls, Pymble, Riverview, Roseville, Roseville Chase, South Turramurra, St Ives, St Ives Chase, Terrey Hills, Turramurra, Wahroonga, Waitara, Warrawee, West Pymble, Willoughby, Willoughby East, and Willoughby North.