Building Behaviour in Bushfires

Subject EVSC90023 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

May, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 18-May-2015
Teaching Period 25-May-2015 to 30-May-2015
Assessment Period End 13-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 19-May-2015
Census Date 25-May-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 05-Jun-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours lectures + 36 hours practicals
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

It is recommended that students have previously completed the following subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Mr Justin Leonard


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject covers the fundamentals of how domestic buildings respond to bushfire in a planned environment context. Working from the science fundamentals through to the policy and legislation frameworks that tackle bushfire risk mitigation through to building design. With successful completion of the course, students will be well equipped to judge and implement design solutions within the scope of Victorian building regulations relating to bushfire risk management.

Building behavior in bushfires requires some critical background knowledge in order to be effectively taught, with pre-requisite subjects Bushfire and Climate and Bushfire Urban Planning. An improved understanding of the broader range of values that are inevitably considered in bushfire urban design will be better addressed in this subject when the subject Bushfire Planning and Management is completed prior to beginning this subject.

Note: This subject includes a pre-teaching period. During the pre-teaching period students are expected to complete the course readings, review the lectures and any other course preparation as outlined on the LMS. The LMS will become available at the commencement of the pre-teaching dates. Pre teaching starts on 18/05/2015

Learning Outcomes:

Objectives. By the end of the subject students should:

  • Have an understanding of building performance and compliance within a planned environment;
  • Have an understanding of the assumptions and complementarity of building and planning measures in achieving acceptable levels of bushfire risk management;
  • Have an understanding of how regulations tackle quantification of the mechanisms of interaction between bushfires and building envelope;
  • Have an understanding of building legislation in Victoria including history, tiers of government, agencies and the roles of the Building Commission, municipal building surveyors and private building surveyors;
  • Be introduced to the role and process of performance-based codes and solutions;
  • Be knowledgeable of processes of building regulation and permits;
  • Be able to carry out bushfire attack assessments and prepare a report to submit to the relevant building surveyor;
  • Have a sound understanding of construction and testing requirements under relevant building codes for fire-prone environments;
  • Be introduced to a broader context of bushfire urban interface risk issues.
  • Literature review (1500 words) due prior to commencement of intensive (30%)
  • Four in-class tests (1000 words in total) due throughout intensive (30%)
  • Final written assignment (3500 words) due 3 weeks after completion of intensive (40%)
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Bushfire Planning and Management
Graduate Diploma in Bushfire Planning and Management
Master of Architecture
Master of Architecture
Master of Forest Ecosystem Science
Master of Landscape Architecture
Master of Landscape Architecture
Master of Urban Planning
Postgraduate Certificate in Bushfire Planning and Management
Postgraduate Diploma in Bushfire Planning and Management
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 200 point Master of Architecture
200 point Master of Landscape Architecture
300 point Master of Architecture
300 point Master of Landscape Architecture
Melbourne School of Design multidisciplinary elective subjects

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