When total fire bans were recently declared around Adelaide and in other parts of South Australia – long before the traditional fire-danger season had started – it heralded the beginning of another perilous Australian summer. The ban also reinforced the critical need for quality fire-rated building materials.
When it came to bushfire safety, the owners of this beautiful home in Crafers West, on the outskirts of Adelaide, had a huge task in front of them. After all, they’d bought the house for the land and, especially, the amazing views. But the house stands in a BAL 40 zone and the original home was built well before bushfire legislation came in. Getting the right balance between connection to the great outdoors and bushfire-compliance was at the top of their to-do list.
“Choosing a window system that would work with BAL 40 was actually more problematic than I would have hoped,” says David Brown of BB Architects. “It’s not our first bushfire house but we wanted kind of reasonably large format windows and we wanted to do a clever detail where we hid the sliding doors, and the flyscreen particularly, into the wall… The flyscreens have to be BAL 40 rated mesh to protect the glass.”
David and his team spent a considerable amount of time with local fabricators, MJ Architectural Windows + Doors, working out how to get through the bushfire-rating issue with Council and the Country Fire Service. “We got a great result and the house works really well,” he says. “It kind of embodies a whole lot of our philosophies of reusing what we can, keeping it simple, and having that collaborative team of builder, trades and designers. Having a client who’s ecstatic at the end of the project is a real bonus!”
Fabricator: M J Aluminium Windows and Doors
Architect: BB Architects