Australia — A free architectural service to help people rebuild the 2000 homes lost in the February fires is launched today.
Nineteen architect-designed models have been selected for the Bushfire Homes Service, a joint initiative of the Australian Institute of Architects (Victoria) and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect.
The Institutes Victorian President Karl Fender says the service offers those who lost their homes access to architectural expertise that will add value and improve the quality and amenity of the homes being rebuilt in the areas devastated by the February fires.
The service offers a selection of architect-designed plans to people intending to rebuild their homes, and a free consultation with the architect, Mr Fender said.
Each of the 19 homes complies with the higher end of new national building standards for bushfire prone zones.
While it is impossible to design a completely fire-proof home, the Victorian Government Architect Geoffrey London says certain key principles have been applied in the design phase to make these homes as resistant to the threat of fire as possible, such as the use of low- or non-combustible materials.
The design results – such as the Birdhouse with a single steep-fall gutter which is easy to keep clear of debris or the Hinge House with its variable wing structure – show that a rich variety of design responses is possible within the revised standards for building in bushfire prone areas, Professor London said.
He added that the services homes have also been designed to meet growing community concerns for environmental sustainability.
The 19 home designs offer a variety of plan types of between two and four bedrooms, a variety of materials and construction types, and a variety of architectural design approaches, all of which can be adapted to suit a range of possible site conditions.
To view the range of house designs offered by the Bushfire Homes Service, and to register interest in participating in the Service, please visit the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority website at wewillrebuild.vic.gov.au.