BAL-FZ compliant weatherboards from UBIQ were selected for two new homes being built in the Blue Mountains suburb of Winmalee, NSW.

The owners approached Ian Gough of A Grade Constructions with a brief to construct the new dwellings in accordance with the Australian Standard AS 3959-2009 for Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas. The previous houses on the sites were destroyed by the October 2013 Blue Mountains fires and both the sites were assessed to be Bushfire Attack Level – Flame Zone (BAL-FZ), the most extreme zone within the standard.

Among several requirements, the external walls needed to meet BAL-FZ certification, which is equal to an FRL of 30/30/30. The owners also sought to retain the weatherboard finish of their old homes in the new construction.

Ian Gough researched various options for weatherboards that had BAL-FZ certification and selected UBIQ’s INEX>WEATHERBOARD for meeting the compliance requirements while also providing the most affordable solution.

To meet BAL-FZ compliance, various weatherboard profiles in the market required the wall to be clad first with a fire resistant plasterboard, and then over clad with the weatherboard, preferably with battens to provide a cavity to protect the plasterboard.

INEX>WEATHERBOARD does not need any fire rated plasterboard to achieve BAL-FZ (or even an FRL of 60/60/60, which is twice the requirement of BAL-FZ). UBIQ weatherboards can be fixed directly to the timber or steel frame with their interlocking profile allowing simple installation. The weatherboard’s tongue and grooved ends allow it to be stud joined without the need for any fire sealant; once the lowest board is fixed all the other boards self-level onto the one below.

With each new house requiring 250 square metres of weatherboard, Ian Gough was able to save the homeowners about $15,000 on each build by using INEX>WEATHERBOARD. The savings were achieved by avoiding use of the fire rated plasterboard, timber battens and other flashings, all of which were not required with the INEX>WEATHERBOARD system. In addition to providing bushfire protection, INEX>WEATHERBOARD is also priced competitively when compared to other 16mm thick weatherboard products.

UBIQ provided A Grade Constructions with all the necessary documents for BAL-FZ compliance and construction detailing.

INEX>WEATHERBOARD is available in two sizes: 180mm for 150mm coverage and 204mm for 172mm coverage. The weatherboard is available with a smooth finish for paint application, or a rough surface for a timber stained application.