Designing For A Changing Climate

  • November 13th, 2022

As we head into our third year in a row of La Niña summers, it’s clear our environment is changing.

The unfortunate reality of a wet summer is the increased risk and frequency of flooding. The rain also encourages a resurgence of vegetation growth which in turn, can provide fuel for future fires once conditions dry out again.

Historically, major bushfire seasons in eastern Australia have often followed La Niña events.

The Black Saturday bushfires across multiple townships in Victoria in 2009 prompted a Royal Commission investigating the causes of, preparation for, responses to and impact of the horrific fire. The report acknowledged that fire is an inherent part of our lives in Australia and is particularly so for those living in the southeast of Australia. It also resulted in new planning and bushfire building regulations.

Bushfire Attack Level (BAL)

The BAL is a nationwide standard to determine the severity of a building’s potential exposure to ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact. It is measured using levels of radiant heat, expressed in kilowatts per square metre. The higher the number, the more severe the potential exposure. A bushfire planning consultant will be able to establish the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) of your land.

A modular approach

The regulations that have come out of the Royal Commission are helping us to build bushfire resistant homes and extensions that have a better chance at withstanding fire events. The standard design of a Modscape modular house sits at the top of current best practice in terms of sustainable and durable construction.

The steel frame construction of a Modscape modular home offers increased durability, protection from natural disasters and resistance from pests. Our prefabricated structures form an airtight envelope that can be opened to the environment in mild conditions or sealed tightly in adverse conditions. Non combustible materials can easily be switched out and used for above ground exposed services.

Increasingly, bushfire prone areas are not exclusive to rural locations. Some suburban and metropolitan areas are classified as bushfire-prone.

Regardless of whether we live in a bush setting or in a vegetation-loaded suburban area, we cannot afford to be complacent. With good planning and building initiatives, we are ensuring there are more homes to return to when the fire is over.