Priestley Heather Consulting

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a BAL?
A BAL is a Bushfire Attack Level. It is a means of measuring the severity of a building’s potential exposure to ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact. There are six Bushfire Attack Levels that form part of the Australian Standard for construction in bushfire prone areas (As 3959 – 2018).

BAL – Low:               Bushfire threat is not great enough to warrant specific construction requirements.

BAL – 12.5:              Property will be subject to ember attack.

BAL – 19:                 Subject to ember attack and burning debris and increasing heat flux.

BAL – 29:                 Subject to ember attack and burning debris and greater increase in heat flux.

BAL – 40:                 Ember attack, burning debris and higher heat flux, likely to be exposed to flames.

BAL – FZ:                 Direct exposure to flames from fire.  Increased heat flux and ember attack.

What is a BPA?
A BPA is a Bushfire Prone Area. Certain areas of Victoria have been determined as BPA’s for the purpose of the building control system. Specific construction standards apply to properties that are subject, or likely to be subject to bushfires. These construction requirements are aimed at improving bushfire protection for residential buildings. Find out if your property is in a BPA.

How much does a BAL Assessment Cost?
BAL Assessments will vary in price depending on your property’s location, topography and how many structures (existing or proposed) require an assessment. To receive an obligation free quote for your BAL Report with PHC email contact@priestleyheather.com.au

What is included in a BAL Assessment?
In compliance with AS3959 – 2018 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas a simplified procedure is used to determine a properties Bushfire Attack Level. This simplified procedure has 6 main steps.

Step 1. Determine relevant Fire Danger Index

Step 2. Determine the classified vegetation types

Step 3. Determine the distance of the site from the classified vegetation types

Step 4. Determine the effective slope(s) under the classified vegetation type(s)

Step 5. Determine the BAL from the appropriate table specified inAS3959 – 2018

Step 6. Determine the appropriate construction requirements

A BAL Assessment and Report by PHC will include pre-site visit mapping, a site visit and all relevant documentation to meet the requirements of your building permit.

Who needs a BAL Report?
For any new home or alteration located in a Bushfire Prone Area, a BAL Report will need to be included in order to receive a building permit. Find out if your property is in a BPA.

How long does a BAL Assessment and Report take?
From the time you contact PHC to schedule a BAL Assessment, one of our team members will be in touch within 2 business days. Your on-site assessment will be completed within 14 days and report finalised within 7 days of the assessment. The site assessment can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours, depending on the vegetation on your block and topography.

Who do I submit my BAL Report to?
Your appointed Building Surveyor will be responsible for checking your BAL Report for your property. To receive information on recommended Building Surveyors in your area, click here.

Where is PHC located?
Priestley Heather Consulting has two main offices. One in metropolitan Melbourne and one in Marlo, East Gippsland. Our team often works remotely in order to meet clients from the Surf Coast to Melbourne’s west, all the way to the southern coast of NSW. 



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a BAL?
A BAL is a Bushfire Attack Level. It is a means of measuring the severity of a building’s potential exposure to ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact. There are six Bushfire Attack Levels that form part of the Australian Standard for construction in bushfire prone areas (As 3959 – 2018).

BAL – Low:              
Bushfire threat is not great enough to warrant specific construction requirements.

BAL – 12.5:             
Property will be subject to ember attack.

BAL – 19:                
Subject to ember attack and burning debris and increasing heat flux.

BAL – 29:                
Subject to ember attack and burning debris and greater increase in heat flux.

BAL – 40:                
Ember attack, burning debris and higher heat flux, likely to be exposed to flames.

BAL – FZ:                
Direct exposure to flames from fire.  Increased heat flux and ember attack.

What is a BPA?
A BPA is a Bushfire Prone Area. Certain areas of Victoria have been determined as BPA’s for the purpose of the building control system. Specific construction standards apply to properties that are subject, or likely to be subject to bushfires. These construction requirements are aimed at improving bushfire protection for residential buildings. Find out if your property is in a BPA.

How much does a BAL Assessment Cost?
BAL Assessments will vary in price depending on your property’s location, topography and how many structures (existing or proposed) require an assessment. To receive an obligation free quote for your BAL Report with PHC email contact@priestleyheather.com.au

What is included in a BAL Assessment?
In compliance with AS3959 – 2018 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas a simplified procedure is used to determine a properties Bushfire Attack Level. This simplified procedure has 6 main steps.

Step 1. Determine relevant Fire Danger Index

Step 2. Determine the classified vegetation types

Step 3. Determine the distance of the site from the classified vegetation types

Step 4. Determine the effective slope(s) under the classified vegetation type(s)

Step 5. Determine the BAL from the appropriate table specified inAS3959 – 2018

Step 6. Determine the appropriate construction requirements

A BAL Assessment and Report by PHC will include pre-site visit mapping, a site visit and all relevant documentation to meet the requirements of your building permit.

Who needs a BAL Report?
For any new home or alteration located in a Bushfire Prone Area, a BAL Report will need to be included in order to receive a building permit. Find out if your property is in a BPA.

How long does a BAL Assessment and Report take?
From the time you contact PHC to schedule a BAL Assessment, one of our team members will be in touch within 2 business days. Your on-site assessment will be completed within 14 days and report finalised within 7 days of the assessment. The site assessment can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours, depending on the vegetation on your block and topography.

Who do I submit my BAL Report to?
Your appointed Building Surveyor will be responsible for checking your BAL Report for your property. To receive information on recommended Building Surveyors in your area, click here.

Where is PHC located?
Priestley Heather Consulting has two main offices. One in metropolitan Melbourne and one in Marlo, East Gippsland. Our team often works remotely in order to meet clients from the Surf Coast to Melbourne’s west, all the way to the southern coast of NSW. 



Phone 0455 455 962  |  Email contact@priestleyheather.com.au