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We are committed to a sustainable future with architectural flexibility and style.

All products are suitable for new builds or retrofitting.

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What options are available to achieve BAL FZ compliance?

Tested hinged or roller shutters, or tested glazing systems are available for BAL FZ. All of these can be manufactured to suit your project and budget.

 

What is the most economical BAL solution?

Flat panel type shutters can be as low as $750/m2 for large panel sizes. Similarly, roller shutters at their maximum 12m2 are ~$750/m2. As unit sizes decrease, the cost per m2 increases.

 

What colours do they come in?

Generally, shutters are available in the Colorbond® colour range. The slats in the roller shutters are stainless steel. Custom colours are always possible.

 

What sizes are available?

Hinged shutters, up to 3.5m wide and 2.4m high.

Sliding panel systems, up to 15m wide and 2.4m high.

Roller shutters, up to 5m wide, and 3m high, with a 12m2 limit.

BAL FZ glazing, individual panes up to ~3m2.

 

How long do they take to make?

The actual manufacture can take up to 6 weeks. That said, sometimes we are really busy, and can be booked months in advance. Talk to us early, so we can plan your production!

 

Can I install them myself?

Hinged shutters can be installed by local trades, helping you keep costs for your project under control. Roller shutters must be installed by a qualified technician.

 

How do they work?

Hinged shutters are manual. This is the most reliable. We find that our customers use their shutters in the summer to keep the house cool, so closing them for fire is easy, and second nature.

Roller shutters are generally motorised, with a manual over ride during power outages. They can be set up as switch controlled, remote controlled, even via an app on your phone. While this sounds somewhat ideal, the power, wifi, and phone service must all be operating for this to work. These are often not working on a fire day.

 

Hinged Shutters vs Roller Shutters

Hinged shutters provide the best defence against the heat of the fire, and if windows are laid out well, can be at the bottom end of cost. They can also be opened after the fire, allowing safe egress from the building.

Roller shutters pass the standard, albeit with just over double the heat through the shutters versus hinged shutters. Roller shutters will be seized in the track after a fire, and unable to be opened. This could leave you trapped in the building.

We will guide you through what is appropriate AND safe for your project.

 

What is a ‘BAL’ rating

A BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) rating is a calculation using the type of vegetation, the slope of the land, and the FFDI (forest fire danger index) to calculate the likely impact on the building during a bushfire, on the subject building.

BAL ratings are lowest at 12.5kW/m2, and increase to 19, 29, 40, then FZ. A normal domestic radiant heater emits ~2kW, so BAL 40 is equivalent to having 20 of these heaters for every square metre of wall. Each increase in level requires a more resilient construction to survive.

Over BAL 40, and into BAL FZ, aluminium melts. BAL FZ situations can get up to 90kW/m2. This is why most standard shutters and windows cannot survive.

 

What is the most economical way to achieve BAL-FZ compliant windows?

Shutters over standard windows is the most economical path to compliance. To get the lowest cost outcome, talk to us about your plans before finalising your design, as the design can impact the cost significantly.

 

Can I use standard windows, behind tested shutters, and be compliant for BAL FZ?

Yes, you can use any window fitted with 5mm toughened glass. Frames of timber, aluminium or PVC are OK.

 

Can I achieve BAL FZ compliance for windows and doors by having a BAL-40 bushfire window accompanied by a non-combustible (aluminium) bushfire shutter?

This was, but is no longer possible, in NSW. DA’s issued post 1st Jan 2018 require tested systems. The systems allowed pre 2018 fail in BAL FZ conditions, and fall out of the wall.

 

Can a tested steel roller door type shutter comply with BAL FZ window requirements?

1 Hour (FRL -/60/-) or 2 hour (FRL -/120/-) fire rated steel shutters are designed and tested to AS 1530.4 (2005) to stop fire from escaping sections inside a building. BAL FZ Bushfire Shutters are designed and tested to AS 1530.8.2 (2018) to stop bushfire flames and heat from breaking the glass windows and burning down the house from the outside. The difference between these types of shutters is that BAL FZ shutters must be insulated. Single skin steel fire rated shutters are not insulated against the transfer of heat and do not comply with AS 1530.8.2 (2018).

 

Can a fabric fire curtain comply with BAL-FZ requirements?

No, a fabric curtain is not insulated against the transfer of heat and does not comply with AS 1530.8.2 (2018). Watch ABC video of house fire test with a fabric shutter failing to stop the front window from breaking, watch video to hear how the window glass broke at 7:10 minutes and the inside temperature was untenable at 200°c. ABC House Fire Test

 

Can an Aluminium roller shutter comply with BAL FZ requirements?

No, aluminium will melt around 660C well below the Australian Standard test for BAL FZ AS 1530.8.2 (2018) test temperature of over 800°c. Real fire conditions can peak well above 1000°c for short durations.

 

What are BAL FZ shutters made of?

All AS 1530.8.2 (2018) BAL FZ compliant shutters are made of steel. Roller shutters have insulated double skin stainless steel slats, and steel track covers. The rest of the assembly is aluminium, and sacrificial in a fire. Hinged shutters are steel framed, and the fully insulated leaves are Colorbond® clad. These provides the lowest heat rating of any system by half.