Course Title: Conduct a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: ARCH5201

Course Title: Conduct a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment

School: 320T Architecture & Design

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6136 - Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural)

Course Contact: Catherine Ciavarella

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4819

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Catherine Ciavarella.

David Anderson.

Nominal Hours: 60

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit of competency describes the outcomes required to conduct a BAL assessment. This includes relevant theoretical knowledge of fire, understanding of the regulatory framework, assessing a location and education of and consultation with clients about the benefits of achieving the required fire resistance.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU21604 Conduct a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment


1. Analyse cause and effect of bushfires


Performance Criteria:

1.1 Requirements relevant to undertaking a BAL assessment are identified and complied with including
occupational health and safety (OHS), legislative,  organisational and certification requirements.
1.2 Bushfire behaviour is analysed to determine potential impact on buildings and the environment in
bushfire-prone areas.
1.3 The impact of topography and weather conditions are analysed to determine the risk of bushfires occurring
and potential impact on human life and protection of buildings.
1.4 Sources of combustion are identified to determine how they influence bushfires.

1.5 Stakeholders are consulted and information sources accessed to identify benefits of undertaking a BAL
1.6 Responsibilities of local, state and national authorities are reviewed to determine their role in minimising the impact of bushfires.


2. Correlate information about site conditions

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Objectives of legislation and standards covering buildings in bushfire-prone areas are reviewed to
identify measures to improve performance of buildings when subjected to bushfire attack.
2.2 The location of the site is identified to determine the Fire Danger Index (FDI) for the site.
2.3 Site vegetation classification, vegetation type and exclusions are identified to determine potential
contribution to supporting fire progress.
2.4 The distance of vegetation from buildings is measured to determine the level of bushfire risk to the
2.5 The slope of the land under the classified vegetation is measured to determine the direct influence on the
severity of a bushfire.


3. Determine the BAL for site

Performance Criteria:

3.1 The FDI, vegetation classification and type, distance of vegetation and slope are used to select the BAL
applicable to the site.
3.2 The BAL assessment relevant to the site is checked to confirm accuracy.
3.3 Limitations of the outcome of the BAL assessment are communicated to client.
3.4 Benefits of achieving required fire resistance are discussed with client.
3.5 Details of the BAL assessment are documented and reported according to organisational requirements.

Learning Outcomes

This unit is aimed at determining the BAL of a site by following steps to assess the bushfire risk of the site and using this information to select the BAL from appropriate tables of information using Method 1 (the simplified bushfire risk method from AS 3959.)

Details of Learning Activities

This unit is aimed at determining the BAL of a site by following steps to assess the bushfire risk of the site and using this information to select the BAL from appropriate tables of information using Method 1 (the simplified bushfire risk method from AS 3959.)

Teaching Schedule

WeekDateCourse Content
Semester 1  
138th May Introduction to Conduct & Apply BAL and BAL related codes & standards. BAL Quiz 1
1522nd May BAL related codes & standards. BAL building design & construction considerations
Semester 2  
210th July Guest speaker from CFA. Bushfire history impact & behaviour. Bushfire Prone Areas & Bushfire Management Overlay. BAL & BMO site assessment
424th July BAL & BMO, Site assessment reports, Town Planning and Building applications
531st July Site Visit to study vegetation & topography.
67th August BAL review. Review & Discuss site visit. Review Topography, Vegetation, Site Access, BMO workbook, BAL site assessment form.
821st August BAL Site Assessment. Guided BAL & BMO assessment, RMIT Bundoora Campus
104th September Final BAL lecture: BAL Site Assessment Project discussion. BAL Revision
105th to 8th September BAL Quiz online (Blackboard-Conduct BAL-Assessments-BAL Quiz 2)

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts



Other Resources

CFA, Country Fire Authority:

Victorian Building Authority:

Department of Transport, Planning & Local Infrastructure:

Australian Building Codes Board:

Overview of Assessment

This competency will be assessed using standard work practices relevant to a design drafting workplace. Assessment of essential required knowledge will usually be conducted in an off-site context. Assessment will comply with relevant regulatory or Australian Standards’ requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Feedback throughout the course may be written, verbal or a combination of both
Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks. Summative assessment tasks in this course are graded.
To demonstrate competency in this course you need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard.

Quiz  Assessments          45%
Vegetation & Site Assessment    35%
Reference Project            20%

Assessment Matrix
An assessment matrix demonstrating alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency is available from the course contact person (stated above).

Other Information

Academic Progress:
At the end of each academic period individual student progress will be reviewed by the Student Academic Progress Review Committee and students will be advised of their eligibility for progression.
Student Charter:
The Student Charter, in association with the University’s statutes and law, indicates what the University and its students can expect from each other. The University’s mission is to create and disseminate knowledge to meet the needs of industry and the community and to foster in students the skills and passion to contribute to and engage with the world.;ID=tkn8wtd23h84z
Student Responsibilities:
In undertaking this course students are required to be responsible for:
•The time management of the course work in order to complete all work requirements satisfactorily and on time.
•RMIT encourages students to attend all scheduled classes to optimise academic success.
•To ascertain what content or assessment has been missed, and gather the information prior to next class.
•To be proactive in mastering the academic material of the course by challenging, questioning and extending course outcomes.
•To be responsible for the maintenance of a non-disruptive and scholastic attitude in the learning environment.
See RMIT Academic progress information, responsibilities and support for current students:;ID=nzasms4pljer
Extension of Time for Submission of Assessable work Procedure:
Students must refer to the RMIT policy for eligibility and procedures.;ID=7usdbki1fjf31;STATUS=A?QRY=extension%20of%20time%20form&STYPE=ENTIRE
Equitable Assessment:
Students must refer to the RMIT policy for eligibility and procedures.;ID=id0959jyz9mx
Special Consideration:
Students must refer to the RMIT policy for eligibility and procedures.;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y
Assessment Decisions:
Final assessment decisions can be reviewed and or appealed.
See RMIT Assessment Policies:;ID=ikqkqdh2zf5n1
Employability skills:
Employability skills describe non-technical skills and competencies that are an important part of effective and successful participation in the workplace.
The following Employability Skills are an inherent part of this course:
Communication, Teamwork, Problem solving, Initiative and enterprise, Planning and organising, Self management, Learning and Technology.
Refer to the RMIT policy on plagiarism which is reference under Academic Integrity atRMIT;ID=kw02ylsd8z3n;STATUS=A?QRY=Plagiarism%20-%20student%20information&STYPE=ENTIRE
Cover sheet for submission of work for assessment:
Whenever you submit work for assessment you must include a declaration of authorship.
All hard copy submissions of work for assessment should include a completed and signed ’Cover sheet for submission of work for assessment’ which can be found at the following link;ID=od0oagg9uc111
A condition of using the online e-submissions process is that you have read and agreed to the following statement:
I declare that in submitting all work for this assessment I have read, understood and agree to the content and expectations of the Assessment declaration found at the following link;ID=t4g7mbllxm3n

Course Overview: Access Course Overview