A new white paper by Trend Windows & Doors sheds light on the updated standards for construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas in Australia.
Following the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, which killed 173 people and destroyed over 2000 homes, the Australia Standards AS3959 Construction of Buildings in bushfire-prone areas was updated with significant changes. Adopted by all states, these changes affect the construction of any home to be built in the future with the standards applying to a broad range of construction elements including windows and external doors.
Adopted by the BCA (Building Code of Australia) in 2013, the updated standard AS 3959- 2009 specifies requirements for the construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas to improve their resistance to bushfire attack from burning embers, radiant heat and flame contact.
A building’s Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment determines the minimum construction requirements. BAL-40 rated products are considered the highest rated products for most habitable areas.
An ember attack is the most common way for houses to catch fire during bushfires. Embers collect most commonly in areas such as gutters, window frames and doorways, making it imperative these elements are up to the required Australian Standards.
Embers were also the primary cause of large scale destruction during the Canberra bushfires of 2003. Following this, the Australian Government asked CSIRO to work with companies on developing products to meet BAL-40 bushfire rating. Trend Windows & Doors worked with the CSIRO in 2004/2005, and were the first window and door company to be tested for aluminium products to meet BAL-40. Since then, Trend Windows & Doors has continued researching, developing and testing products to meet new regulations and changes in standards.
Trend’s Xtreme Windows & Doors product range has been tested and rated to BAL-40 and is fully compliant with Australian Bushfire Standards AS3959- 2009 and the Building Code of Australia. Trend’s Xtreme window and door systems use toughened single glazed or double glazed units combined with Pyro-Protec seals, which protect the home against wind, water, noise, dust and bushfire penetration.
While the Xtreme range of doors has been tested to BAL-40 without screens, the window range requires a stainless steel screen on the operable window only. The Xtreme Quantum Architectural Range of windows includes awnings, casements, sliding windows and fixed windows. The doors range includes sliding doors, sliding stacker doors, bifold doors and hinged doors.
Trend has also introduced the Thermal range of hybrid windows and doors designed for energy efficiency. Available with over 60 glazing options to suit any situation or climate zone in Australia, the Trend Thermal range includes awning, casement and fixed windows as well as sliding, sliding stacker, bifold and hinged doors.
The Trend thermal range is also available with Trend’s Xtreme Bushfire Protection, tested by CSIRO to BAL-40, under Australian Standard AS1530.8.1.
To download the whitepaper, please click here.