Home Construction & Landscape Design

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Practice What you Preach: Building a Firewise® Home (PDF, 13 MB)
: Hank Blackwell, Wildfire Consultant, NFPA Home Ignition Zone Instructor
Description: This presentation will walk you through the process in building our dream home! During the predevelopment phase and discussions with our builder, we found that we could economically build an ignition-resistant home using current construction codes and applying Firewise® principles and still have the beautiful home we were hoping for.

Common Denominators of Home Destruction, 2011 Texas Wildfires
Justice Jones, Austin, Texas Fire Department
Description: The 2011 Texas Wildfire Season was the worst wildland/urban interface fire season in the States' history. Homes were destroyed in almost every eco-region, but the common denominators of home destruction were a recurring theme. This presentation will cover identifying common denominators of home ignition, understanding the elements of post fire assessments, and leveraging wildfire awareness into wildfire preparedness.

Wildfire and Your Deck: Exposures and Mitigation Options
Steve Quarles, IBHS
Description: Decks are a vulnerable component on a home because, if ignited, a burning deck will result in an extended radiant and direct flame contact exposure to the adjacent siding, windows, doors and under-eave areas of the home, potentially resulting in the ignition and loss of the home. Codes, standards and educational organizations provide guidance on how to build new decks and retrofit existing decks to resist wildfire exposures. The objective of this presentation will be to review common wildfire exposures scenarios to decks, summarize information provided in codes and standards and examine effective ways to reduce the vulnerability of your deck. Discussion by participants will be encouraged.

Water Spray Protection in the Wildland/Urban Interface: The Successes and Failures (PDF, 2 MB)
Joseph W. Mitchell, PhD, M-bar Technologies and Consulting, LLC ; Mark Potter, Country Fire Authority, Australia
Description: The use of external water spray systems to protect homes in the WUI has been adopted by many homeowners in the U.S. and Australia. We will discuss how water spray systems can complement traditional WUI design, particularly in situations where ignition resistance cannot be achieved in other ways, as well as the limitations of these systems. The basic science of water spray protection and the design factors required for a reliable and effective system will be explained. Water spray systems were generally found to be of benefit during the Black Saturday fires of 2009, which also provided evidence regarding failure modes, design flaws, and operational errors that compromised safety. We will also discuss the recently released Australian standard for water spray systems, the design assumptions, and opportunities for improvement.