Category Archives: Building Supplies

BAL FZ – What Is It & What You Need To Do About It?

BAL FZ - What It Is & What You Need To Do About It?

BAL Flame Zone & Building Code Requirements

Bush fire—two simple words that are guaranteed to raise your stress levels and your insurance premiums.

Although Australians have never taken bushfires lightly the forecast is that bushfire intensity and frequency are only going to get worse.

The Australian Building Code has always acknowledged the serious financial and social cost of extreme bushfire events and it attempts to reduce their impact through legislation governing building design and materials.

The new BAL FZ (Bushfire Attack Level Flame Zone) is the most extreme rating that can be applied to building design and construction.

BAL FZ is now applicable to wide swathes of NSW including a large number of North Shore and Northern Beaches suburbs.


Why Is BAL FZ Needed?

The devastating 2009 bushfires in Victoria led to a complete re-think of the old bushfire standards.

The new BAL FZ is the most extreme level in the revised bushfire attack standards and represents how successfully particular building materials will withstand bushfires in regards to ember attack, radiant heat, and direct flame ignition resistance.

The sad reality is bushfire incidents are increasing in intensity and the social and financial costs are spiralling out of control.

A 2016 Climate Council report stated that bushfires currently cost the NSW region around $100 million dollars each year and this is forecast to rise to $800 million by 2050.

The social cost comes through loss of life and injuries, and the upheaval and dislocation that are a natural result of severe bushfire events.

For most homeowners the increased building and insurance costs associated with meeting code compliant new builds and DIY projects or renovations means that you need to do your homework before you start any building project.

Bush Fire Danger Ratings

What Does BAL FZ Mean For Me?

If you are building in a bushfire zone that requires BAL FZ compliance you need to use BAL FZ compliant materials.

This requirement also has implications for your insurance cover, as insurance companies will take a dim view of claims for fire damaged new builds that do not comply.

Although the updated requirements are more stringent the code does provide for choice. The BAL FZ essentials for windows and external doors including sliding, French and bi-fold doors are either:

1. All open able portions need to be internally or externally screened with metal (steel or bronze) screens with a maximum aperture of 2mm


2. The window or door system must comply with AS1520.8.2 when tested from the outside and have an FRL of at least -/30/-. FRL (Fire Resistance Level) -/30/- indicates that the integrity of the window will remain intact for 30 minutes of exposure to fire.

BAL FZ requirements for more substantial parts of a building including walls, decking, roofing, and exposed floors mean that combustible materials are not permitted in these areas.

This does mean that your building costs may be significantly higher but you don’t have to build an ugly Fort Knox to comply with the code.

Many traditional non-combustible building materials such as stone, brick and mud brick still comply with the BAL FZ code. Essentially, if you can’t burn it it’s probably going to be alright.

COLORBOND® steel clad roofing system construction

COLORBOND® Steel Clad Roofing System

Roofing for BAL FZ - What Are Some Good BAL FZ Rated Roofing Materials?

Roofs and roof insulation need to meet or exceed an FRL of 30/30/30 for BAL FZ compliance.

Colorbond or Zincalume steel roofing panels remain an excellent choice for your BAL FZ compliant roof. Bradford’s Anticon is a high-performance foil-faced insulation blanket that will reduce heat transfer significantly and is rated as compliant with BAL FZ requirements.

The eaves are a potential danger zone especially where fire has taken hold of vegetation close to the house.

For this reason a fireproof insulation material such as Anticon 80 compressed to 40mm should be used in the eaves. The underside of the eaves should be further protected by a fireproof material such as HardieFlex.

Bradford Fireseal FZ is a rock wool fire resistant roof insulation that will help prevent embers or flames taking hold in the roof space and these are appropriate for metal or tile roofs in BAL FZ zones.

For tile roofs you will need Bradford’s Thermoseal Roof Tile sarking, Flexitel blanket, and Fireseal FZ tile roof batts.

And you cannot install roof-mounted evaporator cooling units in BAL FZ zone unless they have been tested and meet the requirements of AS1530.8.1.

Non-compliant units must be fitted with an approved ember protection screen or in the case of a flammable cooler unit, completely covered with a non-combustible cover.

Firecrunch XClad

Firecrunch XClad for BAL FZ

Cladding for BAL FZ - What Are Some Good BAL FZ Rated Cladding Materials?

James Hardie offers a number of cladding options that will satisfy the BAL FZ requirements and provide an attractive appearance including: 

  • HardiePlank and Primeline for a traditional weather board look 
  • Scyon range of advanced fibre cement composite cladding panels 
  • Panel Clad pre-textured sheets for a Mediterranean stucco finish or a rough hewn timber look 
  • HardieTex—the original fibre cement cladding for a smart modern look 
  • HardieFlex—perfect for lining the eaves

HardieFire mineral wool insulation is a great choice for insulating walls but as with any product it must be installed to correctly to meet the code’s requirements.

HardieFire insulation must be cut to at least 5mm wider and longer than the space between each frame cavity. This ensures there are no spaces where oxygen can feed any potential fire.

FireCrunch fireproof board is a highly cost-effective exterior wall cladding with FRL levels of 90/90/90 on a steel frame and 60/60/60 on timber; these ratings greatly exceed the minimum BAL FZ requirements.

It is ten times stronger than ordinary plasterboard and won’t degrade in water. FireCrunch is also termite proof and it can be painted, rendered or tiled.

FireCrunch is made from magnesium oxide recycled from the steel industry so it’s good for the environment too.

Decking & Flooring for BAL FZ - What Do I Need?

To meet the BAL FZ requirements decking must be made of non-combustible material and have no gaps. This also means that the decking/flooring supports must either be non-combustible (steel or concrete) having an FRL of at least 30/30/30 or be fully enclosed.

Many of the fibre cement type panels are ideal for decking and floors too.

FireCrunch doesn’t just look great on your walls but with 16mm and 21 mm thicknesses it’s also perfect for flooring and decking in BAL FZ zones.

It can also serve as a substrate for other decking treatments such as tiles. Plus, you know these products are a tick for good environmental practices.

The Hardie fibre cement range such as the Scyon Secura exterior panels offer great options for any deck.

Not only are they inflammable but they have remarkable weight bearing strength characteristics as well. Scyon Secura functions as a great substrate for tiles or other flooring finishes.

Can I Still Use Timber Products?

Yes, in accordance with BAL FZ requirements you can still use timber products but only specific types of timber and only in particular situations.

External window framing is considered inconsequential and timber may be used where the timber density is higher than 650 kg/m and with a moisture content of less than 12%.

This includes but is not limited to hardwood species such as: 

  • White Cyprus
  • Ash (Alpine, Mountain, Silvertop)
  • Beech Myrtle
  • Gum (Southern Blue, Mountain, Sugar)
  • Jarrah
  • Ironbark (grey, red)
  • Mahogany
  • Celery top pine

Wood may be used in other features of your house such as fascia boards.

Don’t forget, you do need to have ember proof metal shutters that completely cover all externally opening non-compliant wooden windows or doors.

Are Sealants Covered By The BAL FZ Code?

Yes, because many sealants and adhesives contain potentially flammable compounds.

Compliance also requires the use of fire rated sealants because embers and super heated air can bypass fire rated barriers through poorly designed or constructed wall penetrations and trigger fires inside roof or wall cavities.

We stock a wide range of fire rated sealants and adhesives including: 

  • Bostik Fireban One sealant 
  • Selleys Fireblock 
  • Sika Fire rate PU—an external, fire-rated sealant that retains its flexibility and watertightness in all weathers

The products mentioned in this guide are just some examples to get your creative juices flowing. We can supply an enormous range of products appropriate for your needs so come and talk to the friendly experts at No1. Roofing and Building Supplies and let us help you realise your vision.

Please be aware that this is a guide only and you need to seek professional advice and check your intended design complies with Council and code requirements before you go ahead with any building project.

What Do The BAL Zones Mean?



BAL – Low

There is not sufficient risk to warrant exposure

BAL – 12.5

Ember attack

BAL – 19

Increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by wind borne embers togetherwith increasing heat flux between 12.5 and 19kW/m2

BAL – 29

Increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by wind borne embers togetherwith increasing heat flux between 19 and 29kW/m2

BAL – 40

Increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by wind borne embers togetherwith increasing heat flux with the increased likelihood of exposure to flames


Direct exposure to flames from fire front in addition to heat flux and ember attack

Architectural Panel Supplies

Helpful BAL FZ Links and Information


Housing Industry Australia article on building in bushfire prone areas.

Rural Fire Services

This fact sheet clarifies the requirements of the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) for combustible construction in Bush Fire Attack Level 40 and Flame Zone (BAL-40 and BAL-FZ) areas.

Bluescope Steel

Bluescope Steel article on Bushfire Design Factsheet for Bushfire standard compliant steel roofing system

Helpful BAL FZ Downloads

Bluescope Steel fact sheet with details for bushfire-prone AS3959-2009 BAL-FZ sites

Bushfire Fact Sheet - Bluescope Steel


Stormwater Drainage Products, Systems & Design – A Storm In A Teacup

Stormwater Drainage Systems, Design & Products - A Storm In A Teacup

Stormwater Drainage Products and Systems

Thinking of building a new home or commercial property?

Have you thought about how you will deal with storm water drainage?

Most people never give a thought to the potentially damaging amounts of storm water runoff that sometimes occurs on their properties...

...that is until there are flooding or erosion issues.

But the problems of dealing with the water that runs off your roof, driveway, footpaths, and patio are complex.

In the good old days simple pipes and culverts drained the water containing leaf litter, oils and other pollutants from your property to where it was eventually dumped untreated into a river or the ocean.

It was effective but it simply transferred the problems elsewhere.

Stormwater Flooding

Stormwater Flooding

Modern Stormwater Drainage Systems

The massive increase of in-fill housing, large commercial areas of sealed impervious land cover preventing natural drainage, and water shortages have forced councils and government to find better solutions for dealing with storm water.

The result?

Lots and lots of rules and regulations.

But seriously, modern storm water system designs are much more effective at draining the water, reducing flooding and erosion problems and recycling water runoff for non-potable uses such as watering the garden.

With global warming and the likelihood of increasingly severe storm events it pays to design a really effective storm water system for your new or existing building.

And with the right people on your team it doesn’t need to be a sinkhole for your money.

ACO Rain Drains

ACO Rain Drains - Paved Area

ACO Rain Drain installed to residential property

ACO Rain Drains - Pergola Area 

Stormwater Drainage Design

Modern storm water design focuses on three important areas:

  • Slowing down water flow to reduce flooding or erosion problems downstream 
  • Retaining water on the property for use in gardens as a natural filtration system 
  • Reducing the cost of cleaning and unblocking storm water drains

Expert advice, design and installation are critical to the success of your storm water drainage and are pivotal to keeping your project within the budget.

Some aspects that you will need to consider in your design include:

  • Soil type and depth 
  • Depth of the water table 
  • Slope aspect of the land 
  • Council regulations

At No 1 Roofing supplies we can offer expertise built on experience and a wide range of products to suit even the most challenging situations.

Storm Drainage System by RELN

New Storm Drain by RELN

Drainage Pits

Intense rain events and large roof collection areas can lead to enormous quantities of water coming through the downpipes in a very short space of time.

One of the major storm water problems occurs when that water hits the ground; the sheer speed and volume of water can overwhelm standard sized piping and cause flooding.

A similar water volume problem can occur when you have a large surface area such as a sealed commercial car park; in severe storm events the water simply cannot drain away fast enough.

Drainage pits can retain a large volume of water slowing it down and releasing it gradually and harmlessly into the storm water system.

We can supply a wide range of drainage pits and grates including:

  • Reln - uses 100% recycled plastic to create super tough and environmentally friendly drainage pits in a range of sizes and depths and able to cope with up to 175 litres of water and withstand ordinary vehicle traffic. Solid cast aluminium grates in a range of colours make for a perfect finish. 
  • Mascot Engineering Pits & Grates - glass reinforced concrete pits to all sizes and load ratings. Benefits include flexible conduit entry points, impressive strength to weight ratio, and beneficial for the environment (40% less environmental impact than traditional concrete). Matching cast iron or galvanised steel grates are available. 
  • ACO polycrete - drainage pits and risers are made from acid and chemical resistant polymer concrete. From homes to airports ACO polycrete manufactures the right drainage system for your needs along with stainless or galvanised steel grates. 
  • Wilmac - a big range of concrete pits and risers and various litter screens and grates designed for every situation.

The grates are designed for easy removal allowing for a straightforward cleaning process.

All these companies are Australian owned--we’re proud to support Australian made.

Storm Drain Products by Reln

Storm Drain by Reln

Stormwater Grates

Storm water grates and mesh screens play a key role in managing excess water runoff.

Principally, they restrict leaf litter, trash and other objects from going into the drains and clogging up pipes.

But they also provide a safe surface for the passage of people and vehicles and so their design needs to balance up a number of key factors:

  • Load rating—how much weight will the grate have to bear? Will the grate need to withstand the weight of cars and trucks or only the weight of pedestrians? 
  • Aperture size—the holes need to be small enough to prevent leaves and litter from clogging up a drain but not so small that there is insufficient water flow to cater for heavy rain events. 
  • Aperture shape and size may also need to cater for cyclists, wheelchair users, and high heels and we have grate designs specifically targeted to the safety of these users.

Clearing and cleaning your drains is so easy with these click to fit/ quick to clean grates.

Drainage Channels by Mascot

Drainage Channels by Mascot

Stormwater Channels

You can ditch the old concepts of drainage channels.

Modern storm water channels and grates make design and installation so simple and fast.

And they even look smart enough to make a real feature in your garden, patio, or driveway.

We can supply storm water channels and gratings from a number of Australian based companies including;

  • Sabdrain
  • Stormtech
  • ACO polycrete
  • Reln
  • Mascot Engineering.

A wide variety of construction materials from polypropylene plastics to concrete with a multitude of different patterned grates and colours can turn your storm water solution into an attractive eye-catching feature.

And the simple click/click installation will make your life so much easier especially when if you need to clean or unblock your drains.

Choosing The Right Drainage Products

There’s a lot to think about but expert advice can save you a lot of money and headaches when it comes to choosing the right products.

Whether you’re talking about the runoff from your new patio or garden path or require a drainage system for your commercial premises able to withstand 15 tonne loads No 1 Roofing offers friendly expert advice and can supply all your needs.

Architectural Panel Supplies

Drainage Calculators

Plan, size and lay out Stormwater Drainage Systems

This resource will help you understand the design requirements for stormwater drainage systems that take into account rainwater off roofs as well as paved and unpaved areas.

RMIT EDU Plumbers Toolbox

Roof plumbing – roof drainage systems

This guide is based on the Victorian Plumbing Industry Commission’s Roof Plumbing Technical Solution, produced by the NSW Fair Trading in reference to the Roof drainage systems—design AS/NZS 3500.3.

It provides an overview on the Catchment Areas, Rainfall Intensity, Overflow measures for eaves gutters as well as some roof drainage system design examples.

Click to download the Roof Plumbers Guide

iGrow Drainage Calculators

The Drainage Calculators help users address common calculations for agricultural subsurface (tile) drainage design.

Climaseal 5 Roofing Screws for a Longer Lasting Roof

Climaseal 5 Roofing Screws for a Longer Lasting Roof

In roofing construction, as in life, it’s often the little things that can really let you down.

Fortunately, Climaseal anti corrosion screws and fasteners can make all the difference to your roof.

We all know that corrosion is a major problem for roofs in Australia but did you know that using the incorrect roof screws could lead to the complete failure of your roof?

Trying to save some money by using inferior screws is a recipe for disaster.

Using the wrong screw can actually speed up the corrosion process due to:

  • Galvanic corrosion—the wrong screw may actually set up a galvanic reaction with your roofing material and accelerate the corrosion process many times over
  • Build-up of detritus around the edges of poorly designed or inappropriate screws—this will increase wetness around the screw area and may contain conductive salts that foster corrosion
  • Trapped moisture around and under the screw head increasing the length of time the steel is wet—speeds up corrosion
  • Water entering the roof cavity underneath poorly formed or damaged screw heads or washers
Climaseal 5 - Class 5 Anti corrosive roofing screws by Buildex
Anti Corrosive Roofing Screws Climaseal 5.jpg

Anti Corrosive Roofing Screws Climaseal 5 by Buildex

You need to use anti corrosive screws to avoid premature corrosion and expensive and unsightly damage to your valuable roof.

Climaseal roofing screws by Buildex use a unique formulation and coating process specially designed with our severe marine climate in mind.

Although everybody loves the beach and most Australian housing is affected by marine conditions to some extent these are some of the most severe rust causing environments to build in.

You’ve invested heavily to live in this amazing area and you need to know your investment is protected. You need the special protection of Climaseal anti-corrosion screws.

Climaseal fastenings give you real peace of mind with superior rust protection guaranteed.

Climaseal 5 Roofing Screws provides superior protection

Climaseal 5 provides superior protection against the harmful effects corrosion

What are the advantages of Climaseal fastenings?

The Climaseal advantage includes a wide range of screws and fasteners from roofzips to timber and metal self drilling screws and in a range of Colorbond colours.

Climaseal are world leaders in corrosion resistant fasteners because Climaseal:

  • Screw threads feature increased corrosion resistance for greater structural integrity. The area beneath the screw head is often a weak point in inferior screws and damage during the installation process can lead to complete failure of screw. Unfortunately you might not even be aware of this until the roof is damaged beyond repair
  • Screw coatings display increased cracking and chipping resistance
  • Displays enhanced compatibility between screw and roof material, which helps to prevent galvanic reactions causing rust. This includes the washer, which can be a major cause of early failure in inferior screws.
  • Enjoys superior UV resistance protecting the coating against premature degradation under the harsh Australian sun
  • Promises excellent drill performance minimising damage to screw hole edges or incidence of crooked screw entry (which can severely reduce corrosion resistance)
Roofing Screws that have corroded.

What can happen when fastener coating is not compatible with roof sheeting

Buildex are so confident in the Climaseal difference that they guarantee Climaseal 5 products for up to 30 years in marine and 40 years in urban environments.

A longer lasting roof, no ugly rust stains around the screw heads, no expensive premature repairs—now that’s a real return on your investment.

What is Climaseal Coating?

Climaseal is a superior formulation and method of coating that provides a thicker, more even base and top coat.

This creates a more durable corrosion resistant zone and protects your steel roof for longer.

Cross-sections of inferior coatings side by side with Climaseal show a markedly superior performance in Climaseal’s coating integrity against chipping and cracking.

Other galvanized screw coatings quite literally crack under the strain, not Climaseal.

Cross-sectional views of the Buildex® Climasea® 5 coating

These are cross-sectional views of the Buildex® Climasea® 5 coating

What’s the difference between Climaseal 5 and Climaseal 4?

Climaseal 4 are rated as class 4 roofing screws and Climaseal 5 are rated as class 5 roofing screws.

They are designed for the Australian corrosion zones ISO 9223 known as severe marine and very severe marine.

What does this mean for you?

If your house is between:

  • 1km to 50kms from the ocean or 150m to 1km from a salt water creek or inlet Buildex will guarantee Climaseal 4 for 20 years and Climaseal 5 for 30 years.
  • 400m to 1km from the ocean or within 150m of a salt water creek or inlet Buildex will guarantee Climaseal 4 fasteners for 12 years and Climaseal 5 for 25 years.
  • Within 400m from the ocean you need to use Climaseal 5 and Buildex will guarantee them for 10 years

Replacing your roof can be expensive business and you want it to last. Climaseal gives you the confidence that your roof will last the distance and provide a real return on your investment.

Corrosion Zones - Comparing Class 5 to Class 4 Category

Difference in Corrosion Zones - Comparing Class 5 to Class 4 Category

Who is Buildex?

Buildex started in Australia in 1917 and has established a global reputation as one of the leading manufacturers of screws and fasteners on the planet.

Buildex is proud of its Australian roots and its 19,500 square metre manufacturing plant in Melbourne supplies all its Australian customers’ needs as well as exporting to 18 countries throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Pacific.

Buildex was the first company to begin testing anti corrosion coatings in real world outdoor conditions in 1994. This continuous research and development programme has put Buildex to provide truly superior fasteners and screws.

One recent unintended test highlighted Climaseal’s superiority to other fasteners in graphic fashion when a builder ran out of Climaseal screws partway through a job and had to finish with an inferior screw.

The results were dramatic with the Climaseal screws remaining free from corrosion while the other screws quickly deteriorated.

If having a dependable roof over your head is important to you then don’t cut corners.

Get your roof screwed good and proper with Climaseal from Buildex.


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Buildex Roofing Screws and Fasteners

One of the world's leading manufacturers and suppliers of self-drilling screws and fasteners

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