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NEA2201 Building Development : Bushfire Consultant



The aim of this paper is to explore and appraise the overall upgrading context in line with the existing properties. The site under evaluation mainly demarcated as the bushfire hazards grounded on the Australian Building and construction standards. The analysis in line with the report context mainly illustrated and reported as per the bushfire hazards and mapping assessments conducted in the area. Australians have an underlying association with the bush. Quite a bit of the Australian old social stories encompasses Australia's lovely bushland zones. It is of little astonishment then that a large number of individuals living in the area share a craving to construct fantasy home in such a region (Buxton et al. 2011 p.2).

Moreover, the expanding urban sprawl of most real Australian metropolitan areas is prompting expanded private development in zones that have a high shot of bushfire. The recurrence and seriousness of bushfires in Australia as an aftereffect of environmental change is expanding. This was obvious by the sad occasions of Black Saturday on 7 February 2009 in Victoria and also numerous substantial bushfire occasions since including the Blue Mountains fires reported in 2013. These occasions have prompted various modifications in construction laws as well as measures in connection to bushfire development in Australia, with the end goal to diminish the potential effect of these occasions later dates. The majority of this prompts critical requirement for thorough and safe bushfire development measures to be actualized in a steady and broadly fit way, and afterward be connected uniformly by architects, manufacturers as well as certifiers. This article will detail some critical contemplation when planning and developing private houses in bushfire inclined territories for manufacturers and property proprietors (Cozens and Christensen 2011 p.119).


The section mainly discussed under two typical sub-titles as indicated below

Site Description 

 The site mainly demarcated as well as marked as Northbridge NSW 2063. The area is averagely 100 m2and the property being evaluated often surrounded with the perennial tress of the bamboo land. The overall vegetation coverage of the area indicates that the area is equatorial area since the trees and the overall vegetation is evergreen at all the moments (Harman et al. 2013 p.793).

Aerial View Photos

The aerial photos of the area mainly obtained from the satellite imageries and the Google map records of the area. The analysis often included the area and the immediate neighborhood. Thus, the photograph of the area mainly indicated as shown in the diagram below (Holland et al. 2013.  p.41).

Figure showing the aerial view of the Weetalibah Rd, Northbridge (Mannakkara and Wilkinson, 2014 p.327).

Planning Legislation

According to Mannix (2011) the planning legislations in line with the context mainly defined as frameworks regulations for the combined analysis in line with the primary as well as the secondary legislations. In essence, the regulation and the acts mainly grounded on the detailed prescribed rules. The planning legislations forms part and parcel of the overall inundation regulations as well as acts which individuals tend to apply in the overall construction works (McLennan, Whittaker and Handmer 2016 p.2031).

Environmental Protection Act

First and foremost, it is defined as the act which encompasses the utilization and the application of the biodiversity conservation as well as the environment protection and this is often outlined in the strict code of the Australian regulations in line with the environment. In fact, the Australian government prohibits the actions which have immense effects as well as impacts on the environment. Thus, all the activities related to the environment and how the effects tends to impacts on the environment mainly not accepted on the country unless such norms approved by the government under the ministry of environment. Additionally, the protection measures mainly adhered to as per the outlined regulations and stipulations by both the national government as well as the commonwealth land acts governing the state.  Thus, the table below gives the in-depth analysis on the various rules as well As the national environmental matters as well as the significance protections which the elements have in line with the EPBC Act. These mainly summarized and indicated as shown in the table below (McLennan, Elliott and Wright 2014 p.11).


National Environmental Significance 


world heritage properties


national heritage places


wetlands of international importance (listed under the Ramsar Convention)


migratory species protected under international agreements


listed threatened species and ecological communities


Commonwealth marine areas


the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and


Nuclear actions (including uranium mines).

Local Environmental Planning (LEP) 

Local Environmental Planning is the critical leadership arranging apparatus which is created by the neighborhood planning definitive bodies to make the maintainable usage of land zones and upkeep of the formative guidelines. In NSW it is a commanded lead to keep up an LEP, to make the sustainable conservation of land zones and other regular assets with no hurtful exercises. After the development of the arranging, the whole arrangement is finished by the Minister for the arranging of natural assets. These arranging got their endorsements through the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, alongside its detailed legitimate directions (Mojtahedi, Newton and Von Meding 2017 p.1120). This LEP has the fundamental movement to give nearby natural designs, through the draft Development Control Plan 2008 which will be enacted for ten weeks. On 30th September 2014, this arranging specialist has made the stride where arranging techniques improved by SEPP and Regional Environmental designs (REP). In these drafts, the arranging actualized in the whole zone of Victoria and NSW. Then again, this LEP is in charge of the majority of the exercises of Australian regulations and methodologies likewise. In this perspective, it gives the new homes to close around 11500 people groups. It designs the 66,000 new work sources. Then again, this source is lively for the urban advancement arranging. LEP has given more than 12,000 hectares arrive usage plan moreover. Most importantly, this lower seeker board of trustees is in charge of the upkeep of lower catchment territory and other zone-based water use technique also. From these angles, LEP is an excellent advance in NSW to make an arranged path for practical use of individual assets what not (Moritz et al. 2014 p.58).

Proposed Development

The proposed developments mainly discussed as indicated in the analysis as follows

SEPP Requirements of the Site

SEPP mainly defined as the State Environment Protection as well as Planning and mainly used  for the implementation purposes in the Australia state to  minimize and reduce chances of the overall  fire  breakouts in the area. Furthermore, the norm also forms the part and parcel overall integration and the analysis in line with the water bodies protection as well as the makeable pollution control in the region (Mutch et al. 2011 p.358).

Building Materials

According to Niven and Bardsley (2013) apparently, building materials in line with the selection and the specifications forms the paramount consideration in terms of the building and the maintenance of the structure as a whole.  The selection of the  building materials often preferred to be incorporated in the context must  adhere to the set rules  outline sin the Australian Standards and  regulations for building in the fire prone areas.

 The section and the evaluations of the building materials mainly adopted in the process often discussed in various sections as discussed in the portions below

Systems and Fixtures

The first evaluation on this category is on the hot water and  the regulations regarding  the application and it stipulates that it is important to install gas instantaneous .  furthermore, the installiation for the lighting maust adhere and not exceed 40% of  the overall  altered light fixtures in the building.  This applies not only to the flourecent fitted lamps but also to the ligh-emitting-dode as well as the compact flourescent tubes  (O’Neill and Handmer 2012 p.014018).

Construction Concept  

Preferably, the actual  erection of the structure  mainly grounded on the standards regulations and restrict laws in line with the codes of parctices  regarding the construction of  the buildings in the  bushfireprone areas. This is not only important in the context  of the construction but also helps in curbing the likely hazards which may erept due to the firebreak outs in the area. The analysis for  the overall set standards and  norms mainly illistrtaed  and summraizedas  indicatedin the table below (Standards Australia 2011).

Figure showing construction concept


 The analysis on the landscaping in the area is not only important but equally essential as far the evaluation and the assessment of the property in line with the bushfire is concerned.  In this area, landscaping mainly performed and conducted on the existing plants with the aims of reducing the fire outbreaks in the area as well as in controlling and hastening the durability of the constructed structures in the area. The context and the mitigation approach mainly applied in the landscaping concept mainly appraised as indicated in the analysis below (Paton et al. 2017 p.54).

Parameter No.

Landscaping Action Approach

Suitable impervious areas being provided immediately surrounding the building such as courtyards, paths and driveways;

Restrict planting in the immediate vicinity of the building which may over time and if not properly maintained come in contact with the building;

When considering landscape species consideration needs to be given to estimated size of the plant at maturity;

Avoid species with rough fibrous bark, or which retain/shed bark in long strips or retain dead material in their canopies (Rahman et al. 2018).

Use smooth bark species of trees species which generally do not carry a fire up the bark into the crown;

Avoid planting of deciduous species that may increase fuel at surface/ ground level (i.e. leaf litter);

Avoid climbing species to walls and pergolas;

Locate combustible materials such as woodchips/mulch, flammable fuel stores away from the building;

Plant Selection

Plant selections form part and parcel of the bushfire assessment and the evaluation of the area as a whole. This aspect is not only important but equally important since the magnitude of the plant selection cannot be underrated as well as overlooked as far as the normal context is concerned (Penman et al. 2016 p.88).


Snow and Prasad (2011) noted that the analysis on the pool is not only important as far as the property is concerned but also essential. In the examination of the norm, both the height as well as the depth of the pool is included in the evaluation and this conducted with the aim of ensuring that the pool does not risk the life as well as the health of the users in the long run. The carrying capacity of the swimming pool mainly estimated and established note to be a value greater than the overall 75 kilolitres. Furthermore, the pool should be fitted with a makeable pool cover and it must have an installed pump timer.  Subsequently, it is not advisable to incorporate any heating appliance to the swimming pool unless the norm compliance with the development regulations of the area. The considerations are not only important for the development but also for the overall implementations context (Pham, Palaneeswaran and Stewart 2018 p.1273).

Thus, the diagram below shows the detailed diagram in terms of the required specifications as well as considerations which one need to include in the pool design considerations. Notably, it is important to locate the swimming pool outside the building within the compound (Price 2018).


 Bushfires has got both the immense as well as the adverse impacts on the built structures and the environment as a whole. The bush fire impacts from improper planning, management as well as noncompliance with the set rules as well as the overall regulations. In the Australia, the country has embarked on the penal codes and this aims at prohibiting the illegal construction as well as erection of the buildings. The aims of the context are to ensure that all the constructed structures comply with set regulations in line with bushfire prone impacts and effects.  Furthermore, there are various recommendations which the country as well as this assessment has outlined in line with the bushfire prone instances. Recommendation mainly illustrated as indicated below

What is a further assessment of bush fire risk?

The BCA requires an assessment of the potential intensity of bush fire attack for specific classes of residential buildings located in designated bush fire prone areas.

Australian Standard AS 3959 - Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas (2009, incorporating Amendment Nos 1, 2, and 3) provides methods for measuring the severity of the building’s potential exposure to ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact.

The determination of a property’s Bush fire Attack Level (BAL) is a site specific assessment that takes into consideration a number of factors including the slope of the land, the types of surrounding vegetation and the distance of the building to that vegetation. At the end of the assessment the location of the building will be assigned one of six BALs. The assigned BAL determines the level of bush fire resistant construction required for the building.

The BALs are as follows:

BAL-LOW – very low risk (bushfire resistant construction is not required)
BAL-12.5 – low risk
BAL-19 – moderate risk
BAL-29 – high risk
BAL-40 – very high risk
BAL-FZ – extreme risk (Flame Zone)
The State Government has developed a framework for the accreditation of practitioners who provide bush fire risk assessment services. It is recommended that assessment of bush fire risk be undertaken by practitioners accredited at the appropriate level to undertake such work. For more information of the bush fire accreditation framework please visit the Department of Planning website. Regardless, the certifying building surveyor for the particular building needs to be satisfied that the assessment of bush fire risk meets the requirements of the BCA.

How can my building demonstrate compliance with the BCA bush fire requirements?
Compliance with BCA Performance Requirements G5.1 (in BCA Volume One) and P2.3.4 (in BCA Volume 2) for certain residential buildings in designated bush fire prone areas can be demonstrated by:

Prescriptive Solutions (also known as Deemed-to-Satisfy Solutions);
Performance Solutions (also known as Alternative Solutions); or
a combination of both Prescriptive and Performance Solutions.
For Class 1a or Class 1b buildings and associated Class 10a buildings or decks, Prescriptive Solutions include compliance with:

Australian Standard AS 3959 – Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas (2009, incorporating Amendment Nos 1, 2, and 3); or
National Association of Steel Housing (NASH) Standard - Steel Framed Construction in Bushfire Areas.
For Class 2 or Class 3 buildings and associated Class 10a buildings or decks, Prescriptive Solutions include compliance with:

Australian Standard AS 3959 – Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas (2009, incorporating Amendment Nos 1, 2, and 3).
Who determines if my proposed building complies with the BCA bush fire requirements?
As part of the building approval process, a registered independent building surveyor is required to sign a Certificate of Design Compliance (BA 3 Form) stating that if the building is completed in accordance with the plans and specifications it will comply with the applicable building standards, being the BCA. This will include checking compliance with the BCA bushfire construction requirements for Class 1a, Class 1b, Class 2 or Class 3 buildings and associated Class 10a buildings or decks located in designated bush fire prone areas.


Buxton, M., Haynes, R., Mercer, D. and Butt, A., 2011. Vulnerability to bushfire risk at Melbourne's urban fringe: the failure of regulatory land use planning. Geographical Research, 49(1), pp.1-12.

Cozens, P. and Christensen, W., 2011. Environmental criminology and the potential for reducing opportunities for bushfire arson. Crime Prevention and Community Safety, 13(2), pp.119-133.

Harman, B.P., Heyenga, S., Taylor, B.M. and Fletcher, C.S., 2013. Global lessons for adapting coastal communities to protect against storm surge inundation. Journal of Coastal Research, 31(4), pp.790-801.

Holland, M., March, A., Yu, J. and Jenkins, A., 2013. Land use planning and bushfire risk: CFA referrals and the February 2009 Victorian fire area. Urban Policy and Research, 31(1), pp.41-54.

Mannakkara, S. and Wilkinson, S., 2014. Re-conceptualising “Building Back Better” to improve post-disaster recovery. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 7(3), pp.327-341.

Mannix, I., 2011. Great Australian bushfire stories. HarperCollins Australia.

McLennan, B., Whittaker, J. and Handmer, J., 2016. The changing landscape of disaster volunteering: opportunities, responses and gaps in Australia. Natural Hazards, 84(3), pp.2031-2048.

McLennan, J., Elliott, G. and Wright, L., 2014. Bushfire survival preparations by householders in at-risk areas of south-eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, The, 29(2), p.11.

Mojtahedi, M., Newton, S. and Von Meding, J., 2017. Predicting the resilience of transport infrastructure to a natural disaster using Cox’s proportional hazards regression model. Natural Hazards, 85(2), pp.1119-1133.

Moritz, M.A., Batllori, E., Bradstock, R.A., Gill, A.M., Handmer, J., Hessburg, P.F., Leonard, J., McCaffrey, S., Odion, D.C., Schoennagel, T. and Syphard, A.D., 2014. Learning to coexist with wildfire. Nature, 515(7525), p.58.

Mutch, R.W., Rogers, M.J., Stephens, S.L. and Gill, A.M., 2011. Protecting lives and property in the wildland–urban interface: communities in Montana and southern California adopt Australian paradigm. Fire Technology, 47(2), pp.357-377.

Niven, R.J. and Bardsley, D.K., 2013. Planned retreat as a management response to coastal risk: a case study from the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia. Regional Environmental Change, 13(1), pp.193-209.

O’Neill, S.J. and Handmer, J., 2012. Responding to bushfire risk: the need for transformative adaptation. Environmental Research Letters, 7(1), p.014018.

Paton, D., Johnston, D., Rossiter, K., Buergelt, P., Richards, A. and Anderson, S., 2017. Community understanding of tsunami risk and warnings in Australia. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, The, 32(1), p.54.

Penman, T.D., Eriksen, C.E., Horsey, B. and Bradstock, R.A., 2016. How much does it cost residents to prepare their property for wildfire?. International journal of disaster risk reduction, 16, pp.88-98.

Pham, L., Palaneeswaran, E. and Stewart, R., 2018. Knowing maintenance vulnerabilities to enhance building resilience. Procedia engineering, 212, pp.1273-1278.

Price, O.F., 2018. Drought, wind and heat: when fire seasons start earlier and last longer.

Rahman, S., Chang, H.C., Magill, C., Tomkins, K. and Hehir, W., 2018. Forest Fire Occurrence and Modeling in Southeastern Australia.

Snow, M. and Prasad, D., 2011. Climate change adaptation for building designers: an introduction. Environment Design Guide, pp.1-11.

Standards Australia, 2011. AS3959-2009: Construction of Buildings In Bushfire-prone Areas.

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