Bushfire: Part 3 - Planning, Building, Landscape

Bushfire: Part 3 - Planning, Building, Landscape

Bushfire: Part 3 - Planning, Building, Landscape


Part Three: Bushfire – Planning, Building and Landscape explores the bushfire regulations and national controls (codes and standards), their requirements and contradictions. BAL zones are considered, including common problems and possible solutions. This session also provides an insight into measures that can be taken within garden and property boundary zones to create defensible space and the way in which the surrounding terrain informs a bushfire response strategy. 

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

2015 Competencies:

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.

2021 Competencies:

Project Initiation and Conceptual Design:
PC 24 Be able to prepare and analyse project development options in response to a project brief – its objectives, budget, user intent and built purpose, risk and timeframes, including environmental sustainability considerations.
PC 26 Be able to undertake site, cultural and contextual analysis as part of preliminary design research. 
PC 29 Be able to develop and evaluate design options in terms of the heritage, cultural and community values embodied in the site, and in relation to project requirements
PC 30 Be able to explore options for siting a project, including integrating information and analysis of relevant cultural, social and economic factors. 
PC 32 Be able to apply planning principles and statutory planning requirements to the site and conceptual design of the project. 

Detailed Design and Construction Documentation:
PC 39 Be able to integrate the material selection, structural and construction systems established in the conceptual design into the detailed design and documentation. 
PC 41 Be able to coordinate and integrate input from specialists and consultants into the detailed design and documentation. 
PC 44 Maintain effective and clear communication in the coordination of relevant consultants, manufacturers and suppliers as required under the terms of engagement. 
PC 45 Be able to nominate and integrate quality and performance standards with regard to selected materials, finishes, fittings, components and systems, considering the impact on Country and the environment, and the whole life carbon impact of the project. This includes integrating life cycle assessments and other expertise and advice from consultants. 
PC 46 Be able to produce project documentation that meets the requirements of the contract and procurement process and complies with regulatory controls, building standards and codes, and conditions of construction and planning approvals. 


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.




Landscape Architect, AILA PIA

Susan Bell is a Landscape Architect and Strategic Planner currently working as the Principal Urban Designer for Blue Mountains City Council where she has worked since 2007. 
Susan has lived in Katoomba for over 35 years and has a deep understanding of the Mountains in regard to the natural environment, towns, climate and communities. This understanding informs her current work of developing strategic documents such as the Street Tree Masterplan, Council’s Technical Manual and a range of Masterplans for various town centres. In support of these documents Susan has also drawn on her extensive teaching experience to design and undertake a range of community consultation across the life of various projects. She has also commissioned a range of Consultant work including Architecture, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Arboriculture and traffic and parking studies in support of these local government projects.

Prior to working for local government, Susan taught a range of technical subjects in Horticulture and Landscape Design at both TAFE and the University of Western Sydney. Ranging from Plant Materials subjects to Surveying and Levelling, Botany and Ecology, she retains an wholistic appreciation of the design process generally, and has never lost her keen interest in Garden Design in particular.

Susan has a strong belief in a well-researched design logic informed by aesthetic theory and backed by comprehensive local knowledge to support an authentic sense of place which is so redolent in the Blue Mountains generally. She retains a fascination with both design process and ongoing development of private gardens as a form of self-expression and the role of the Garden Designer in enabling this expression as a key facilitator. She finds the discipline of providing pragmatic services while simultaneously achieving a level of visual poetry in a dynamic, changing environment endlessly fascinating and she continues to experiment on her own garden in Katoomba while working in local government.




Director, Community Resilience, NSW Rural Fire Service

Corey 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. 



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Non-Member: $74
Student: $19


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