Bushfire: Part 1 - Ecology and Impact

Bushfire: Part 1 - Ecology and Impact

Bushfire: Part 1 - Ecology and Impact



Part One: Ecology and Impact explores the impact of mega-fires in Australia and how the industry can adapt to support fire suppression in the future; natural landscape and bushfire ecology and bushfire attack from a building’s perspective leading to an outline of BAL-ratings.


This presentation is equivalent to 1.5 hours/points of formal CPD and will deliver outcomes related to the following Competency/s from the National Standard of Competency for Architects:

Design: Pre-Design
2.1 Identification, analysis and integration of information relevant to siting of project.
2.2 Application of principles controlling planning, development and design for the project site.
Design: Conceptual Design
3.1 Design response integrates the objectives of brief, user intent and built purpose.
3.3 Design response incorporates assessment of the physical location and relevant wider regional, contextual and environmental issues.
3.4 Design response incorporates assessment of relevant legislation, codes and industry standards.
Design: Schematic Design
4.4 Inclusion of expertise of relevant specialists and consultants in developing the project design. 
4.6 Investigation and integration of appropriate material selection for the project design. 

Documentation: Detailed Documentation
5.3 Evaluation and integration of regulatory requirements.4.6 Investigation and integration of appropriate material selection for the project design. 
5.5 Integration of materials and components based upon an understanding of their physical properties.
Documentation: Documentation
6.2 Continuing coordination and integration of information and project material from relevant consultants, specialists and suppliers.


Learning Outcomes

At the end of this session you should be able to:

  • Describe Australian bushfire behaviour and the atypical unpredictable fires of the summer of 2019/2020
  • Discuss the future of land-management, preparation for the bushfire season, fire-fighting and fire suppression
  • Explain the importance of understanding bushfire ecology
  • List the factors that coalesce for a bushfire and other factors which affect severity and potential for control
  • Outline the different ways bushfires connect with buildings
  • Explain the BAL rating system.



Founder, environa studio

Tone Wheeler is an architect, author, educator and consultant with an abiding interest in the triple bottom line in architecture: social, environmental and economical design. Tone founded environa studio in 1986 and has designed individual and multiple housing projects, commercial buildings and urban design schemes, all with a strong emphasis on social and environmental concerns. The practice has won numerous awards and competitions, including the Milo Dunphy award for sustainable architecture for the Wayside Chapel project.

Tone has been on faculty at Sydney University, UTS and Canberra University, and is currently Adjunct Professor in Sustainable Design at UNSW. He has is the current president of the Australian Architecture Association, has been chair of the Institute National Sustainability Committee, on the Boards of the NSW Building Professionals (BPB) and the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors (ABSA).

He is a frequent writer and speaker on architectural issues. He writes weekly for the Architecture & Design newsletter, has spoken at conferences and seminars for the (R)AIA, the BDAA and the PIA, has been a regular contributor to ABC Radio and TV, on Radio National ˜By Design”; on ABC702 as a “Woodie” and “Homie” and as a judge on the New Inventor program on ABC Television. Over 12 years he has designed and helped build four electric cars.




Director, Community Resilience, NSW Rural Fire Service

orey has over 16 years’ experience working in the bushfire and emergency services industry, including 14 years with the NSW Rural Fire Service.  

Corey joined the RFS in 2006 and held a number of roles before being promoted to Director Community Resilience in 2013. Corey also spent two years as Director Operational Mitigation Services where he was responsible for over 130 staff which included the State Mitigation crews as well as Remote Area Firefighting and Special Operations.  

As the Director Community Resilience, with the NSW Rural Fire Service, Corey has been responsible for the leadership, management and implementation of the NSW legislative planning framework for developments in bushfire prone areas, bushfire prone land mapping, environmental approvals, Neighbourhood Safer Places, bushfire risk management, Community Protection Planning, NSW bushfire mitigation grants and fire behaviour and predictive services. 

Corey has been responsible for significant advances in building capacity and resilience from bushfires at state and national levels. 

Corey has extensive experience having worked in both private industry and state government, including executive level positions in the NSW Rural Fire Service. Corey has been responsible for driving and maintaining industry best practice in all facets of bushfire risk management, land use planning, building controls, fire trails and community engagement. 




John Travers has been working in the fields of bushfire and terrestrial ecology for 39 years. Between 1981 and 1991 he was a Senior Ranger with the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service before joining the Department of Bushfire Services where he  was Manager Planning & Research. For the past 27 years he has been in private practice providing advice to a vast array of clients in both the private and public sectors. 





In 2016 Dr Douglas Brown set up Bushfire Architecture, a research consultancy which provides advice on building in bushfire-prone areas. Since 2015 he has been an academic at Western Sydney University, where he teaches undergraduate courses in Construction Management and postgraduate courses in Bushfire Protection, such as “Building in Bushfire-Prone Areas”. He has a PhD entitled 'Domestic Architecture and the Perception of Risk in Bushfire-Prone Areas'. This research was undertaking in the Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning at the University of Sydney and completed in 2017. He is currently working with the University of Sydney’s School of Architecture, Design and Planning on a project which uses drone technology and 3D imaging to assess how bushfires damaged selected houses during the 2019-2020 bushfire season. 

Dr Brown has previously given two CPDs on bushfire building ignitions points (vulnerable parts of a structure): Australian Institute of Architects, April 2018; and Blue Mountains Design Group, April 2015.

He is a regular contributor to The Conversation where his publications have been viewed over 83,000 times globally.



Member: $49
Non-Member: $74
Student: $19


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