DAY 11: 7 Ways to Fire Proof Your House & Group Presentations (PDC 2010 with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton)

October 1, 2010

Only one more sleep before the course is over…

Today there was excited buzz in the air, and it seemed like the group was slightly less focused on the lecture. The reason, I am guessing, is this afternoon’s session when we got to present our designs to the group. Many (most) of the people haven’t done a group assignment since school days, let alone stand up and talk about it. The pressure was on.

If this wasn’t enough, today is the last full day of the course, and it is set to conclude with a party at which everyone will have to present a talent, otherwise we don’t get our PC certificate! All of a sudden, the classroom and the lunch break were enlivened with people sitting in circles and sketching to prepare for their presentations. Music instruments made an appearance, women spinning Hoola Hoops on the lawn, didgeridoo and guitars. It was great! So cheerful, energetic and…very human.

The morning lecture discussed the risks of bush fires and how to survive them. If you are designing for a region with dry hot spells (like Melbourne region, for example), you will need to have a plan for bush fire shelter. Here it goes:

7 Ways to Fire Proof Your House

  1. First and foremost element is a water storage and sprinkler system that will be able to function when flames pass over the house. Important factor to consider is extreme heat during a fire, which will melt any plastic piping, so all reticulation needs to be metal and placed underground.
  2. Second priority is the shelter for the house residents that will protect them from radiant heat. Place the shelter on the side of the house opposite to the fire zone, and include water supply and old carpets. During the fire the carpets need to be wetted down and placed over the people to insulate from the heat.
  3. Plant willow tree buffer in the fire sector. They act as fire-retardants, causing smoke rather than flames.
  4. Use timber for house construction painted white. White colour reflects the heat, and timber has small thermal mass, which reduces amount of radiated heat. Use tin for the roof (it will need to be replaced after the fire, since it will rust).
  5. Crown-lift the trees so the flames cannot travel along the trunk.
  6. Place the house at least 15-20 meters from the bush.
  7. During fire risk periods, clear all rubbish around the house, and remove any other “easy fuel” that can feed the fire.

I didn’t realize how serious the fire threat is, and now I understand why my friend won’t go bush-walking during hot summer days.

Group Presentations: $24,000 Worth of Designs

After lunch each of the groups presented their designs. It was a real treat, and it’s REALLY amazing how far we’ve come in just two weeks. Each group had its own style of presenting and communicating information, we even had a meditation-like journey through one of the kitchen gardens :) .

Dough explains his house design

Dough explains his house design

Danny presents herbal garden

Danny presents herbal garden

Fiona shows overall design

Fiona shows overall design

we all had a lot of fun doing this!

we all had a lot of fun doing this!

even with a very hi-tech program, good 'ol paper still works best

even with a very hi-tech program, good 'ol paper still works best

Mystee presents super adobe construction

Mystee presents super adobe construction

Ok, off to the party…going to present my talent!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tatyana April 29, 2013 at 10:29 am

I designed it and built it myself, I do web design too. Thank you for your comment, I would be happy to talk to you about your blog needs. You can use the contact page to send me a message.

2 ryan April 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create
this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. kudos

3 Garden October 1, 2010 at 7:23 pm

the same day Pringle’s group endorsed the two Republican incumbents in the Fourth District, Assemblyman George Geist and Sen. Garden

Leave a Comment


one × = six

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: