Victoria’s tragic bushfires in 2009 resulted in renewed focus on the performance of building design and materials in extreme conditions.

The Victorian and Queensland governments have since announced the adoption of the AS3959-2009 standard, setting a new compliance level for roofing systems in bushfire-prone areas assessed as flame zone (BAL-FZ), the highest level of bush fire risk.

The new standard will be incorporated into the Building Code of Australia in May this year, ensuring compliance across Australia.

Rigorous fire testing conducted by Exova Warringtonfire Australia on behalf of the Roofing Tile Association of Australia (RTAA), the roofing tile industry’s peak body confirms that all concrete and terracotta roof tiles manufactured in Australia have suitable fire resistance to meet the requirements for building in areas assessed as Bushfire Attack Level – Flame Zones (BAL-FZ).

In addition to the basic roof test as described in the standard, the RTAA tested structural and fixing components to deliver a comprehensive system that covers battens, trusses, valleys, barges, hips and gables. This allows designers and builders to construct tiled roofing systems to suit a wide range of housing designs.

According to Tony Tanner, RTAA executive director, concrete or terracotta roof tiles are already known for durability, sustainability and long life with their density and mass making them ideal for both acoustic and thermal insulation as well as offering greater resistance to wind suction than lightweight metal sheets.

Additionally, roof tiles are also non-combustible with the testing confirming the protection they provide against the extreme radiant heat generated during a bushfire.

The complete fire testing report is available from the RTAA website. A design and construction guide is also being prepared to assist designers, builders and roofing installers. 

Bristile Roofing specialises in the supply of a wide range of roof tiles.