iPad App simplifies building fire-resilient homes

iPad App simplifies building fire-resilient homes

20 May 2013

published by www.architectureanddesign.com.au

Australia — A new iPad App has been developed by the Alpine Shire Council in the hopes of helping people to build safer and more fire-resilient homes.

The App communicates with a remote server via cloud technology to process the calculations and produce up to four plans that the landowner can use when applying for a planning permit.

The Fire Inspections App was developed by Council’s Manager Development Services and Amenity Nick Vlahandreas, GIS Officer Barrett Higman and Fire Prevention Officer Darryl Farmer.

Farmer said the application halved the time required for the task.

“Not only is it much faster but it’s more accurate and is linked with planning permits, so all the information on properties is literally in my hands,” he said.

“It uses GPS so it’s always clear which property is which, even on streets with unmarked blocks.
“I have no doubt this app will be picked up by other Councils and eventually be used State-wide.”

Planning Minister Matthew Guy said that the council officers can provide landowners with information about construction requirements and the necessary defendable space in 10 seconds.

“Land use planning, which takes into account natural hazard risks, is the single most important mitigation measure in preventing future disaster losses in areas of new development,” Guy said.

To date the Coalition Government has provided $3.2 million in funding to 27 councils to ensure that future development in bushfire prone areas is more fire resilient.

“The funding has been directed to various projects relating to strategic planning around bushfire risk and mitigation; planning compliance to make communities safer; and implementing bushfire planning provisions,” Guy said.

Member for Benalla Bill Sykes endorsed the new technology.

“This is a fantastic example of thinking laterally and using modern technology to provide a simple solution to what had been a complex problem.

The App enables the iPad to communicate with a remote server to process the calculations to determine bushfire risk and planning requirements,” Sykes said.

The new technology also reduces the cost and time in planning for bushfires and increases resilience to bushfires within the Alpine Shire. The technology may also be utilised by other municipalities following interest from councils in Victoria and interstate.

The Alpine Shire Council iPad App was developed with funding from the Department of Planning and Community Development.

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