Bushfire Resistant Buildings

Fire-Ed Up Scenario 4:

Welcome to the Bushfire Resistant Buildings supplementary page for the stage 5 iSTEM, Fire-Ed Up Unit of Work. This is a resource site setup to support teachers to implement the Fire-Ed Up Program.

Fire-Ed Up is funded by the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer, developed from Central Coast Council’s Award Winning program and produced by the Hunter Innovation and Science Hub.

Unit Background –
Australian Fire Danger Rating System

In 2022 Australia introduced a new fire danger rating system providing clearer and more accurate information to communities at risk of bush fire. The Australian Fire Danger Rating System brings together the latest science and knowledge of fire behaviour, is supported by extensive community research, and is the most significant change to the fire danger rating system in more than 50 years.

The previous fire danger rating system was found to be approximately 40% accurate whilst the new reporting system is now more than 60%, but there is room for improvement.

Scenario 4

Bushfire Resistant Buildings: Create a new or redesign an existing structure to enhance bushfire resistance, using fire-resistant materials and landscaping techniques to create defensible spaces.

Research & Design:
Find better solutions to create fire-resistant buildings

In their quest to create safer buildings, researchers are actively exploring innovative methods to make structures more resistant to fire. They are experimenting with new materials and technologies that can withstand high temperatures without collapsing or allowing the fire to spread quickly.

From fire-resistant barriers to advanced sprinkler control systems, These efforts are crucial because they help ensure that buildings are safer for everyone, reducing the risk of damage and loss of life in case of a fire.

Your Mission

Research and test materials and methods for creating bushfire-resistant buildings and communities.


  • Landscaping
    How does landscaping affect the intensity of fires impacting a building?
  • Sprinkler controls
    How can sprinklers be better deployed in different building layouts?
  • Building materials
    What are the best materials for creating bushfire-resistant buildings
  • Innovative technologies
    Which new advanced fire control systems might be used to create a more fire-resistant building?

What can you do in your class to find better solutions?

Downloadable Resources

Technology Mandatory – Student Resource Folio

Download the Fire-Ed Up Technology Mandatory student resource folio.

Download Brief Document >>>

NSW RFS Firefighters Pocket Book

The NSW Rural Fire Service Firefighters Pocket Book Dec 2010 edition.

Download PDF >>>

Australian Fire Danger Rating System

Australian fire danger rating system – Fire Behaviour Index Technical Guide V2.1 Oct 2023.

Download PDF >>>

Retrofit your home for better protection from a

Use the Victorian Building Authority guide to retrofit your home
for better protection from a bushfire

Download PDF >>>

Video Based Resources

The following are a mixture of Fire-ED Up original video resources and others that you might find useful.

President of the Australian Architecture Association and Director of Environa Studio Tone Wheeler explains to the ABC what a home’s weakest links are – through Lego (4:02 minutes).

Inside Edition speaks with Phoenix Architectural Services about foam & concrete blocks that can be used to increase fire resistance  (1:47 minutes)

Engineers at UNSW Sydney have become the first to pass a stringent Australian standard test that simulates a bushfire attack. (2:41 Minutes)

The American Chemical Society looks at a type of coating that could limit the flammability of wood used in construction (2:29 Minutes)

Other Resources


Busfire proof houses; raising the standards – CSIRO

Bushfire-proof house design – UTS

Building in a bushfire area – NSW RFS

Rebuilding after bushfires – VIC

Resilient homes building guidance – QLD

Bushfire resilient homes and rebuilding – QLD

Fire Safety on Rural Blocks – Northern Territory

How to build a fire resilient house – Australian Museum

iTEachSTEM Resources


iTEachSTEM – Orthogonal Sketching

iTEachSTEM Pictorial Sketching

iTEachSTEM Annotated rendered sketches

iTEachSTEM – Making a Prototype

iTEachSTEM – Iterate and Test

iTEachSTEM – Communicating Design Solutions

Other Resources

Bushfire Survival

Online RFS Bushfire Survival plan

Bushfire Survival Plan PDF version


NSW RFS Firefighter Pocketbook – Android

NSW RFS Firefighter Pocketbook – IOS

Hazards Near Me – Android

Hazards Near Me – IOS


Spatial Information eXchange

NSW Department of Education – Digital Learning Selector



Splat3D – Drawing the core 3D Shapes Playlist

Other Videos

AVA Define and Identify – Dr Nick De Leon from the Royal College of Art