BAL Bushfire Calculator V1

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The WoodSolutions Bushfire Calculator V1.0 is an online (to facilitate updating) design tool that enables building designers, builders, regulators and home owners to determine the relevant Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) for a specific building site.  This calculator uses the detailed method (Appendix B – Method 2) for determining the BAL as described in AS 3959-2009 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas incorporating amendments number 1, 2 and 3.

When using this calculator, users should have a copy of AS 3959 and refer to it to source inputs for the calculator.

You can purchase a hard or soft copy of Australian Standard AS 3959-2009 'Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas', by following the link to SAI Global.

PLEASE NOTE: This calculator is NOT suitable for use where the effective slope under the classified vegetation (refer Clause 2.2.5 in AS 3959-2009) is more than 20 degrees downslope (refer Figure 2.2 in AS 3959-2009).

It is recommended that users double-check results by calculating the BAL independently in accordance with the Australian Standard before proceeding with any project rather than relying solely on the calculator results.

Getting started

The WoodSolutions Bushfire Calculator V1.0 is an online design tool that allows you to simply and quickly calculate the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) for a particular building site based on the input you provide.

THE CALCULATOR

The calculator is currently hosted on a third party website. Click here to go to http://www.lucentblade.com/woodsolutions/Simple.aspx and a new window containing the input fields will open.

To begin, enter:

  1. Your name
  2. The site Address

Then, using AS 3959-2009 (incorporating Amendments 1, 2 & 3) determine and enter the following inputs:

  1. select the Fire Danger Index (Table 2.1) from the drop down menu
  2. select the Classified Vegetation Type (Table 2.3) from the drop down menu
  3. input the Distance of the site from the classified vegetation type(s) by typing in the distance or selecting a distance from the drop down menu
  4. input the Effective downslope(s) under the classified vegetation type(s) by typing in the effective downslope or selecting a downslope from the drop down menu
  5. press Calculate.

Site specific output

Based on the above inputs, the calculator will show you the relevant BAL for the building site.

The calculator will also indicate the “Minimum required distance to achieve” the prescribed BALs in AS 3959‒2009.   This feature can help you determine what a change to your building’s location on the site could mean from a BAL perspective.

Printing a hard copy

Once you are happy with your inputs and would like to print a hard copy of your online calculations and details, simply press Print

Using the results of this calculator

As previously stated, it is recommended that users double-check results by calculating the BAL independently in accordance with AS 3959-2009 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas before proceeding with any project rather than relying solely on this calculator.  AS 3959-2009 is a Deemed-to-Satisfy reference under the National Construction Code and this calculator can be used as a preliminary design tool.

Disclaimer

This calculator determines the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) for a given building based on Australian Standard AS 3959-2009 'Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas', copies of which can be obtained from SAI Global. Users should be familiar with the Australian Standard in order to use the calculator correctly. The calculator will produce inaccurate results if incorrect input data is entered. It is recommended that users double-check results by calculating the BAL independently in accordance with the Australian Standard before proceeding with any project rather than relying solely on this calculator. To the maximum extent permitted by law, we accept no responsibility whatsoever and exclude all liability (including negligence) for any loss, damage or injury arising from the use of or reliance on this calculator including any third party. 

Forest and Wood Products Australia ACN 127 114 185 
Exova Warringtonfire Aus Pty Ltd ACN 050 241 524

 

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