What is a BAL Rating?

What is a BAL Rating?

Gold_Coast_Bushfire_Fact_SheetWhat is a BAL Rating? Being the leading Gold Coast builder of acreage homes, our clients regularly ask this question. The vast majority of large and acreage blocks are identified as being in a bushfire prone area and have Bushfire Hazard overlay.

An overlay is a requirement that must be met for council to grant Building Approval (BA). If your property is in a bushfire zone then before BA is granted your proposed construction must comply to the BAL level requirements relevant to your particular block.

Now we know this may sound rather confusing, but essentially, the BAL rating on your block of land has been devised to improve the ability of your new home to withstand a bushfire event ensuring the best protection possible during the unlikely event of a devastating natural disaster.

BAL stands  for ‘Bushfire Attack Level‘. An assesment is made on your particular property with reference to the topography, vegetation type and spread and distance from a proposed dwelling to any vegetation.

The BAL rating is expressed in 5 different exposure classes ranging from the lowest risk of 12.5 (BAL-LOW – very low risk) to the most dangerous risk of FZ (BAL-FZ – extreme risk – Flame Zone):

  • BAL-12.5 – low risk
  • BAL-19 – moderate risk
  • BAL-29 – high risk
  • BAL-40 – very high risk
  • BAL-FZ – extreme risk (Flame Zone)


If your property is located in a bushfire prone area it is almost certain that your build will be subject to complying to one of the 5 BAL levels requirements.

This level is the expected amount of heat that will impact the proposed dwelling in the event of a bushfire and is expressed as values of Low, 12.5, 19, 29, 40 or Flame Zone.

The BAL rating on your particular block of land will influence the method and materials used to construct  your home. To achieve Building Approval on a block of land with a fire hazard overlay the BAL Assessment Reports must be prepared by a suitably qualified, competent person.

As local experts our team can identify if your property is located in a bushfire prone area and prepare your quote accordingly taking into account the extra building specification required to protect your home.

For more information download our Bushfire Mitigation Fact Sheet (PDF 509KB) and contact the Stroud Homes Gold Coast team on 1300 66 99 38 or email: [email protected]