Category Archives: Roofing

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.

COMBUSTIBLE CONSTRUCTION IN BUSH FIRE-PRONE AREAS

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

or

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?

BUSHFIRE ATTACK LEVEL (BAL)

DESCRIPTION OF PREDICTED BUSHFIRE ATTACK AND LEVELS OF EXPOSURE

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

BAL – FZ

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



Architectural Panel Supplies

Helpful BAL FZ Links and Information

HIA

Housing Industry Australia article on building in bushfire prone areas.

https://hia.com.au/BusinessInfo/StandardsRegulations/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.

http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/57821/flaming-final-20170619.pdf

Bluescope Steel

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

http://www.bluescopesteel.com.au/tools-and-resources/bushfire-design

Helpful BAL FZ Downloads

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

Bushfire Fact Sheet - Bluescope Steel

Attribution:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/cost-of-bushfires-in-nsw-act-to-double-by-2050-report-finds/8101252

Rapid Ridge – An Australian First for Roofing

Rapid Ridge - An Australian First for Roofing

Rapid Ridge - How it Works

Rapid Ridge heralds a new dawn in roofing in Australia, a Ventilated Dry Ridge System.

The Rapid Ridge system facilitates an open ridge that allows the roof to breathe with the use of an advanced double labyrinth ventilated fleece.

This fleece has been tested to provide both ventilation and protection from driving rain.

This allows a mechanically fixed fully passive and ventilated dry ridge that will be effective on any home – tile or metal.

This solves a number of problems but in particular in Australian warmer climates where radiating heat and trapped heat means higher air conditioning bills to dissipate this heat and achieve suitable comfort level.

Whirly birds and other such methods will ventilate a small part of the roof, require maintenance, they look unpleasant on the roof and in reality are very ineffective.

Rapid Ridge - How it Looks On Your Roof

Passive Ventilation - No Moving Parts

Rapid Ridge allows the whole roof to be ventilated passively with no moving parts.

Significantly less heat gets into the attic space and tests have shown that home owners can save up to 43% on cooling energy costs by installing this system.

For the roofer or builder the appeal comes in the installation as it can be done in less than half the time to the traditional method.

Advantages are lightweight materials, unlike buckets of mortar being carried up ladders to bed the ridge and time saving in not having to call back on the 2nd day to finish off the pointing and hoping that it does not rain!

The Rapid ridge can be installed in one visit by using the unique components together to build a compliant and healthier house in less than half the time.

Rapid Ridge Ventilated Dry Ridge System

Why Make the Switch?

The Home Owner benefits with a cooler & healthier home. 

  • Achieve all the benefits of roof ventilation with a no maintenance complete passive system
  • Save up to 43% on cooling energy costs during the year
  • Incorporate world best roof building practice into your home for long lasting roof functionality

The Builder/Roofer benefits with lower cost to install. 

  • Install a dry ridge system in less than half the time compared to mortar and pointing
  • Use a tried and tested complete system that is in use throughout Europe
  • Use one product that is dry and clean for universal application on ridge and hip (in most weather conditions)

The Architect benefits with a better looking and functioning roof. 

  • Promote best practice that is better for the environment and better for the home owner into your designs
  • Be first to market and educate your clients on an Australian first that is widely used in Europe
  • Achieve improved aesthetics on the roof with better ventilation (i.e. no whirly birds!)

Rapid Ridge - How it Installs

It's Been Tested by the CSIRO

Rapid Ridge is a mechanically fixed, dry ridge maintenance free fully passive and ventilated system.

Tested by CSIRO for weather proofing and ready for installation on new homes that incorporates best roof building practice into the modern home.

Evo Building Products

EVO Building Products

Evo Build are national distributors of smart building solutions, established over 15 years ago. For more product information you can give the team at No. 1 Roofing a call, you can visit the Rapid Ridge website or you can download the product brochure:

Architectural Panel Supplies

Roof Ridge Capping – A Critical Aspect of Any Well-Sealed Roof

Ridge Capping, Colorbond, Zincalume, Galvanised and Polycarbonate

Ridge capping is a critical aspect of any well-sealed roof.

It’s usually the last feature to be added to your roof but it is vitally important that it’s done correctly, as ridge capping prevents water and wind from getting underneath your roofing tiles or sheets through the highly exposed and vulnerable ridge seam.

Ridge capping also adds an attractive finish to the roof line.

Ridge capping comes in many different types and materials and No1 Roofing supplies a wide range of capping products and accessories to cater for all roof types including polycarbonate translucent plastic panels.

How Does Ridge Capping Work?

Ridge capping both looks and functions like a kind of V-shaped or rounded flashing. Roof ridge caps are fixed to the ridge lines with sufficient overlap across the sheets underneath and also feature a downwards folding lip to prevent wind or capillary action driving moisture into the roof cavity.

Ridge caps are an essential part of your roof’s drainage system. As with any roofing product it is critical that you choose the appropriate product for your requirements.

Things to consider include: 

  • Using appropriate roof materials for your area— corrosion zones, council requirements etc.
  • Checking that roofing materials are compatible with each other
  • The angle of your ridge capping will be affected by your roof pitch
  • Matching roof aesthetics

Correct installation and the use of appropriate fasteners is also pivotal to the long-term life and function of your new roof. Doing it on the cheap never pays so talk to the helpful No1 Roofing experts and avoid those costly mistakes.

Popular Ridge Capping Products

Image of Lysaght Ridge Capping

Lysaght

This well-known Australian manufacturer produces some of our most popular products. Lysaght manufacture ridge cappings and flashings to match all their products including Roll Top Ridge Capping, Barge Capping and Barge Roll.

They can also manufacture a range of custom shapes and profiles.

No1. Roofing can supply roof flashings for all the Lysaght range including:

  • Custom Orb range
  • Trimdek
  • Spandek
  • Klip-lok
  • Longline
  • Flatdek​

A wide range of 23 different colours means that Lysaght have the roof capping to top off your roof perfectly. And Lysaght uses 100% Australian made Colorbond or unpainted Zincalume steel.

Stratco Colorbond Ridge Capping Products

Stramit:

Stramit is another major Australian producer of high quality roofing materials. Stramit is part of the Fletcher Building company and have been around a long time with a reputation for excellence.

We supply Stramit products including:

  • Corrugated
  • Longspan
  • Speed deck Ultra
  • Monoclad​

Stramit uses superior Colorbond steel with the huge range of baked-on Colorbond colours for the look that’s so popular throughout Australia.

Stratco Colorbond Ridge Capping

Fielders:

Fielders has been looking after the needs of the Australian construction industry for 115 years. They have built their business around providing high quality products based on rigorous testing and superior engineering expertise.

Fielders supply ridge capping for their wide range of roofing profiles including:

  • Zinacalume
  • Colorbond Steel, Ultra Steel and Stainless Steel
  • Galvanised

Polycarbonate:

Polycarbonate translucent plastic panels have become enormously popular especially for patios and outdoor areas.

We stock a range of ridge flashings to suit polycarbonate roofs from all the main manufacturers including:

  • Ampelite
  • Laserlite
  • Carbolite
  • Alsynite
  • Solasafe

No1 Roofing believes in providing a range of products so that our customers can find roofing solutions that match their creative vision. That’s why we also supply ridge cappings to match:

  • Corten Steel—for that iconic rusted look 
  • Aluminium—for a stunning appearance and superior corrosion resistance

If we don’t have what you want in stock we can generally get it for you at the low low prices we’re famous for.

Lysaght Ridge CappingPhoto of Lysaght Ridge Capping

Installing Ridge Capping

Installation is critical to the long term health and function of ridge capping. You need to think carefully about:

  • Material compatibility—this includes the type of timber sub-frame and the fasteners used as well as other roofing materials that may impact on the ridge capping. Be mindful also of water runoff from other roofing materials that might be incompatible 
  • Recommended fastener spacing 
  • Correct tightening of fasteners—too tight and washers may be damaged or the sheets deformed leading to moisture entry around the screw head 
  • Checking if you need a particular scribing break to fit your roof profile 
  • Using the correct scribing or notching tools for fitting the ridge cap lip snugly around the ridges on ribbed or corrugated profile sheets

Choose an appropriate silicone sealant to seal overlapping joins.

No. 1 Roofing: we know roofing and it’s our mission to give you the best roof for your needs and budget but the friendly, expert advice is always free.

Architectural Panel Supplies

Source Image attribution 1 2 3