The CSIRO worked with the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Country Fire Authority to develop the guide, produced with funding provided by the Australian Government in partnership with the States and Territories under the National Partnership Agreement for National Disaster Resilience.
The guide is now publicly available online at CSIRO and helps homeowners to:
- understand that bushfires are a natural part of the Australian landscape
- understand how bushfires interact with homes and gardens
- use principles of design to reduce bushfire risks (including injury and the loss of life)
- improve on existing bushfire regulatory controls
- build or retrofit a house or garden.
Leader of CSIRO’s Bushfire Adaptation team Justin Leonard said the guide applies bushfire risk management advice for residential building and landscape design.
Applicable for homeowners across Australia, the guide also includes specific additional advice based on regulations for Victorian homeowners.
“It can be difficult to work out the best ways to build while navigating building and planning regulations that are focused on what the minimum requirements are to be allowed to build,” Leonard said.
“Often bushfire building design and landscaping are considered separately when, in fact, there are so many opportunities to have them complement each other.”