Our Director Mark Newman recently presented from stage at the annual Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise conference. Held on Friday 9 September the Building Conference was a highly successful event with over 150 delegates attending.
Why is building in a bushfire zone difficult?
The main reason people experience difficulty when considering building in a bushfire zone, especially in the planning and design stage, is the myriad of information about a topic they aren’t overly familiar with. It is also often difficult to get good consistent information on the topic as many people hear conflicting advice from people who claim to know what they are talking about.
The second is that it is a multi-layered process with many stages and people required to be involved in the process – from councils and certifiers to product suppliers and consultants – all have different stakes in the game, and expect home owners to understand how to fulfil their obligations.
An example of this is that council isn’t concerned with the building specifications when they approve a design. Council is concerned with things such as overshadowing and privacy of neighbours, building heights and setbacks. It isn’t until construction and certification that bushfire specifications are questioned. If something gets overlooked through an inadequate understanding of the process it can be very expensive to rectify.
Thirdly, most builders have never even heard of bushfire zones. This means you have a good chance of having a home built which doesn’t meet the compliance requirements. If this is the case your home may not be certified for occupation, and may also affect sale at a later date. In addition not complying with the regulations may compromise your family’s safety.
Building in a bushfire zone can be complicated and difficult to understand. At Newmark we understand how it all fits together. We can assist you with: our specialist knowledge of the building code to the Australian Standard; recommend specialist bushfire consultants; and product information to keep your building experience simple and on track.