The exceptional fire resistance of the CSR Hebel product range is helping homes in bushfire zones meet compliance requirements and ensure safety.

The downside of living close to the Australian bush is the ever-present threat of losing a home to an unforeseen blaze. This threat underlines the importance of choosing the right building materials when planning a home in a bushfire prone area. While building design, construction methods and bushfire action plans are all important considerations, the choice of building materials, particularly the external cladding of the building is the most significant.

Hebel offers tested and certified fire rated building materials for construction in bushfire zones, delivering high fire resistance and added security for homeowners. The flexibility of design options also provides the assurance of comfortable living.

Regulations require all homes built in bushfire zones to comply with Australian Standard AS3959-2009, designed to improve the resistance of buildings to bushfire attack from burning embers, radiant heat and combinations of the three attack forms.

The Hebel range including Hebel PowerFloor+ for suspended floors, Hebel PowerPanel for external wall systems and the Hebel PowerBlock+ home building method offers exceptional fire properties and meet or exceed the requirements for all six Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL).

Hebel Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) is a solid masonry product that offers application versatility with the material used for external and internal walls, decks and fencing. The non-combustible Hebel range delivers the right balance between thermal insulation and mass and will not explode, even under extreme heat.

There are several benefits to building with Hebel products for the homeowner. In addition to the assurance of fire resistance, Hebel also provides an extremely solid construction with sharp architectural aesthetics and the flexibility to create a range of innovative designs, both externally and internally.

Key advantages also include high acoustic absorbing properties reducing sound transmission between rooms and noise penetration from external sources; enhanced insulation performance three times that of brick; thermal efficiency ensuring comfort throughout the year, reducing the reliance on heating and cooling appliances for more energy efficient homes; faster construction with less labour lowering building costs; and minimal mess on-site reducing clean-up costs.

Architects and builders around Australia view Hebel products as a long-term investment, particularly when building in bushfire-prone areas. Darren Evans, Director at Solar Solutions Design emphasises that Hebel is their go-to product as they can design with freedom in the knowledge it has all the properties that are important to their clients.

Solar Solutions recently used the Hebel system at one of their flagship projects, the Barrabool Hills Estate in Ceres, Victoria. A stunning example of a contemporary, energy efficient home, the property was designed to be a showpiece for entertaining, and was strategically built to take advantage of the 180-degree views of the surrounding hills.

Hebel was the preferred building material for the external cladding, offering a 30% lower environmental impact than concrete or brick veneer. Hebel PowerPanel XL used in the project, is a high performance masonry panel system, which provides solid, secure, steel-reinforced walls boasting strong acoustic values for added privacy and sound insulation. With up to three times the insulation R-value of a traditional 110mm house brick, the Hebel system combines thermal resistance and thermal mass to reduce energy costs in the home.

The Barrabool Hills Estate home achieved a 7.6 Star rating with first Rate 5, providing the indoor/outdoor living desired by the client while proving that an energy efficient and fire resistant home can also be a beautiful home.