BANISHING THE BUNKER
Architect Ben Wollen from Anderson Architecture says designing homes in bushfire-prone areas still leaves owners with plenty of scope.
“When people think of bushfire protected design, often it’s the same thought they had when sustainable design first emerged — there was this idea that it was all straw bale,” he says. “Some think a bushfire-safe house needs to be a bunker but with some careful consideration of design and planning simple forms you can get beautiful results.”
His firm renovated this Blue Mountains weatherboard holiday house in a BAL 12.5 zone and managed to maintain the character of the old cottage while still meeting the code.
Ben says many of the design tools used to create energy efficient houses also apply to bushfire protection methods.
“A well-built home works sustainably but it also prevents ember attack,” he says. “If you have gaps in your house, that’s where embers get in.”
He recommends getting a bushfire consultant on board early so that you can work with the authorities to create a beautiful house that will be around for years to come.
More: andersonarchitecture.com.au Picture: Nick Bowers