Fire Rated Masonry & Bushfire Attacks

Fire is a real and immediate danger for buildings across Australia, with fires forming quickly and destroying structures without discrimination. Ensuring a building is fire resistant through the choice of the right materials has become paramount for designers, builders and specifiers in order to provide the highest safety standard for occupants.

Understanding the risks of bushfire attacks

Under current building standards, all new constructions and renovations are to be assessed and rated to one of six Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) categories ranging from low to extreme. The BAL levels are based on heat flux exposure thresholds, which measure the amount of energy per square metre of radiant heat exposure.

BAL Description of Risk Risk
BAL – LOW    The lowest risk from a potential fire. Very Low
BAL – 12.5   Risk is primarily from potential embers during a fire. Low
BAL – 19 Moderate risk, particularly from embers and burning debris. Moderate
BAL – 29 High risk, particularly from embers, debris and heat. High
BAL – 40 Very high risk. Likely to be impacted by embers, debris, heat and potentially flames. Very high
BAL – FZ Extreme risk. Directly exposed to the flames of a potential fire front. Extreme

The level of bushfire risk affects the development requirements, with higher levels of protection needed with higher levels of risk. Factors that may affect the level of risk include the area of construction, the vegetation, the distance to vegetation and the terrain. For information on specific bushfire construction requirements contact a professional builder or local council.

Baines Masonry Fire Masonry

At Baines Masonry we have developed two ranges of fire-rated masonry blocks, for load-bearing and non-loading bearing walls; the Betta Block and Dense Weight block masonry systems. Both masonry systems are available in various unit sizes and are suitable for core filled and non-core filled applications. Their material composition and specific unit dimensions have been optimised, tested and assessed by leading organisations around Australia in order to provide exceptional fire and acoustic performances. For more information on our range of fire-rated masonry, visit our website.

Baines Masonry Fire and Acoustic Calculator

Our fire and acoustic calculator allows you to quickly and easily select the correct Baines walling solution based on your individual project requirements. This simple tool takes the guesswork out of specification and gives designers and specifiers the peace of mind that they are fully complying with industry requirements and significantly reducing their exposure to liability.

To use the tool, enter a few simple design parameters that include the required wall type, installation environment, acoustic and fire insulation requirements, and the relevant National Construction Code (NCC) requirement. The calculator then instantly provides a tailored shortlist of Baines Masonry products that meet the specified parameters. The shortlist is also provided in printable PDF format, allowing you to retain a hard copy for reference or insertion into tender documents. Try it today!

For more information contact one of our industry experts today!


Address 900 Wilton Road Appin NSW 2560
Phone Number (02) 4631 1383
Fax (02) 4631 1402

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