The BAL40 fence that saves time and money

  • 3 minutes
  • 21 November 2018

Our stunning, sunburnt country is not exactly gentle, sometimes throwing seriously harsh climates our way. When you need a fence that can take the heat, where can Australian homeowners put their confidence? We spoke with Tim, a resident of Bangor, NSW, about his BAL40 fence* and the challenges of building in a bushfire zone.

Q. What were your priorities when choosing a boundary fence?

Tim: The key elements were compliance with Bushfire Attack Level (BAL40), visual appeal, design and installation flexibility for the site, privacy/security and noise reduction.

 

Q. What sort of challenges did you face, needing a BAL40 fence?

Tim: The BAL40 fence construction posed several challenges:

- The BAL40 fence that saves time and money

1. All materials must be non-combustible

There were only three choices – metal, masonry or (what I considered the best-engineered solution) a Modular Wall.
Due to the BAL40 rating, a Koala Crossing would have to be built following the BAL40 requirements and specifications if using metal fencing. However, this would come with additional cost and a significant security issue; anyone, including children, could climb the structure to access or exit the property freely!
Masonry was seen, at first, as the easiest, but the footing design and engineering meant high added cost. However, ModularWalls didn’t require the engineered footings a masonry wall required, meaning the whole project was more cost-effective and easier to install.

2. Council approvals

Sutherland Shire Council were very pedantic about us providing details of construction materials for this build. However, what became very evident was the considerable lack of awareness of products and how these actually work in a ‘real’ BAL-rated construction zone. They have no material listings as a register. From BAL40 windows to the garage door choice, I spent three weeks going back and forth advising that no one in Australia ACTUALLY builds a BAL40-rated garage door!
However, once a certificate was issued from ModularWalls and submitted to the Council, it was simply included with our construction specifications, and nothing more was said.

Q. How did ModularWalls support your experience?

Tim: Your team was simply great! The customer support process has been fantastic from my initial discussions with the team concerning documentation to submit to Council through to the assistance provided with the installation.

- The BAL40 fence that saves time and money

Q. And how did you end up finishing your ModularWalls?

Tim: Firstly, we finished the fence with a sealer binder undercoat, with any gaps sealed with flexible gap filler. Then, I used Toscani ROCKCOTE fine render on the panels, applied by roller. Lastly, I followed with a top coat of Wattyl Solagard Semi-Gloss, which helps repel water and limit dirt adhesion.

Q. Are you happy with how it turned out?

Tim: I am very happy with the final result! Furthermore, the neighbours have constantly complimented how good it looks compared to metal fencing. It has truly inspired them to use it in some future projects.

*Note: ModularWalls products offer a standard BAL29 rating. We can supply a customised BAL40-compliant solution upon request. Simply notify your consultant of your specific BAL rating needs.

Our high quality, Australian Made walls and fences have been specifically designed to withstand Australia’s harshest environments; from cyclonic wind regions, to bush fire zones, we’ve got your back.

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