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Aerodynamic kit homes boost bushfire protection - Stramit Building Products Media Release
last updated 29/11/11
Stramit Building Products
Products used in this project
Stramit® Curved Corrugated
Materials used in this project
COLORBOND® steel
Colours used in this project
Manor Red®
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Aerodynamic kit homes boost bushfire protection - Stramit Building Products Media Release Aerodynamic kit homes boost bushfire protection - Stramit Building Products Media Release


Aerodynamic kit homes boost bushfire protection - Stramit Building Products Media Release


Aerodynamic kit homes boost bushfire protection - Stramit Building Products Media Release

The unique kit houses produced by RAL Homes in Victoria are designed for energy efficiency and ease of construction, but their aerodynamic shape has also proven to be advantageous in bushfire situations.

Two RAL homes have recently survived bushfires in the Grampians intact, surprising Country Fire Authority volunteers who arrived in the aftermath of the fires expecting to find smouldering ruins.

A recent variation of the intersecting barrel-vault plan was designed to meet a high bushfire attack level of BAL 40 (as per AS3959:2009) as well as achieve high energy efficiency.

The new design, the RAL 2 Special, incorporates window, subfloor and other enhancements to achieve high bushfire resistance. In addition, the design has been energy rated in excess of 5.5 Stars with single glazing in a northerly orientation.

Because the Stramit® Curving Quality Corrugated roofing extends to the base of the house, there is no ridge and no eaves to allow entry of embers. Also, the curved design prevents debris and burning embers from settling on the roof. Recessed steel gutters at the bottom of the curved walls reduce build-up of leaves and debris and, in bushfire emergencies, the spouting downpipe can be plugged and the gutters filled with water.

The shell insulation, which covers all timber panels and framing under the roofing, has a flammability index of les than 5. Aluminium framed windows and doors have minimum 5mm toughened glass, with stainless steel mesh screens covering all glazing. Cement sheet cladding is used on the external walls not clad with corrugated steel.

The triple insulated shell has a thermal resistance rating of R3.81 and provides all-weather temperature control. Heating and cooling are also more efficient because the curved structure reduces the interior air volume by 20%.

Founder of RAL Homes, Reiny Loeliger, said the bushfire performance of the new design could be improved if the house is situated with a slightly north-east orientation, with the rear of the house facing south-west.

Experience, he said, had taught him that the fire front usually comes from the south-west.

“In Victorian bushfires, winds generally begin from the north to north-west, fanning fire in a south-easterly direction,” Reiny said. “Then as the fire spreads, the wind changes from north-west to south-west.”

RAL kits can be supplied from the RAL factory at Ararat on a single truck and assembled with standard tools on a concrete slab or a steel or timber platform, with the underside of the flooring lined with insulation and cement sheet.

Resource Acknowledgements
Source: Stramit Building Products media release
Trademark Acknowledgements:  COLORBOND®, ZINCALUME® and BlueScope® are registered trademarks of BlueScope Steel Limited, ABN 16 000 011 058.