New builds

Learn how to design a new building to improve its bushfire resilience

This section describes a range of options to reduce the chances of your new home being damaged during a bushfire. It is important to consider your building’s materials, the design of each element, how the elements fit together, and their overall look, feel, and function.

Diagram showing ways to protect a buildings protective envelope

Any breach of the building envelope (dashed orange) can result in fire and smoke penetrating to the inside of the home. Consider these vulnerabilities when starting a new build.

The building and planning regulations defined in Victoria’s state-based planning controls ensure that new developments are designed and constructed with bushfire protection in mind (see Regulations in Victoria). These regulations provide a minimum set of requirements aimed at improving the chances that homes and occupants will survive a bushfire. While sound, some of the bushfire attack mechanisms described in this Guide (e.g., consequential fires) are not well-accounted for in the official regulations.

This section goes above and beyond what’s required in the official guidelines by considering the widest range of Bushfire risks that your new home might face during a bushfire. In many cases, the advice provided in the Bushfire Best Practice Guide can be incorporated with little additional cost.

This section focuses on:

  • reducing your buildings vulnerability
  • protecting against ember attack
  • protecting against radiant heat exposure from burning vegetation and consequential fires
  • protecting against wind attack
  • protecting against direct flame contact
  • protecting against tree strike
  • minimising exposure to toxic smoke
  • improving access to the property
  • improving your chances of survive a bushfire, by having a well-designed and well-maintained home.