This weekend BMBC the second Bushfire Expo at the new Springwood Civic Centre. It was a two-day affair, with Friday dedicated to industry training sessions. Like all these events, some presentations were better than others—the highlights for us were the CSIRO who talked about their recent research into why houses burn and the National Window and Door Industry Council session.
Their video showing charring and ignition times of a BAL 29 compliant cedar-window unit was interesting. Their research shows that because cedar contains significant amounts of air, the timber remains relatively cool and does not ignite. The window, already accredited and available for sale, provides consumers with an additional choice and joins Stegbar’s BAL 40 complaint cedar window which has long reigned the market. Encouraging also that there is recognition that some types of timber are in fact very hardy against fire.
We had a display booth at Saturday’s public day with 1500 people streaming through and opportunities to answers questions. I chatted with Mike from NASH (National Association Steel Framed Housing) and was interested to hear that a steel-framed house with fibre cement cladding is BAL FZ compliant (as long as eaves are steel sheeted and roof is tile or Colorbond), where as a timber-framed house with fibre cement cladding is not. That surprised me somewhat as I had anticipated that bending and buckling of steel under extreme heat may have been a problem.Thanks to BMEE (Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise) for hosting the Expo.