Entry Title: "
Category: Professional, Build|Concept
Designer(s): David Cox
This display Fire Station is the result of a research project, called Xanthorrhoea 1,
undertaken by Cox Architects to examine and develop primarily new construction
systems suitable fir building in bush fire prone areas. This project culminated in the
construction of this full size prototype building.
The theoretical aspects of the study which commenced in 2005, confirmed that it was
not sustainable to continue to build in standard construction techniques in these areas
because the buildings constantly failed.
There was a vast waste of resources and a potential series threat to life to continue to
do so. It was also found there was not construction system available which could
withstand the full effects of bushfires. To overcome this problem, this new
construction system was developed.
The system of constructing the building envelope was patented prior to the Victorian
Bush Fires of February, 2009. This construction works was completed by then. This
research anticipated Australias vulnerability to such an event occurring.
The building is designed for the most hazardous category of bush fire attack. It has
been independently assessed to meet this standard and has the potential to exceed the
same. The construction system offers improvements in overcoming other broader
effects of global warming by providing a high resistance to cyclones and floods.
Other benefits include very low maintenance, high thermal insulation, high durability,
high security and suitable for remote areas. The combined effect reduces energy
A unique feature of the system is the integration of the roof and walls. Rather than
fixing the insulation under the roof, this system forms a structural fire insulating shell
over the building which is integral with the walls. This makes the roof far stronger
than standard. The protective layer is like icing on a wedding cake in that it covers
and protects the whole cake. The image of the cross section through the sustainable
and edible cake model describes the same.
The windows are protected by patented fire resisting awnings which are part of the
construction system. They offer a range of other benefits including reducing energy
consumption. The house is solar powered and requires minimal energy consumption.
The services are independent as necessary in remote rural locations. The construction
system demonstrates that it is suitable for a range of different small building types
such as Fire Stations, Police Stations, schools and other civic buildings. In rural areas
especially, these community buildings play a very important role by providing shelter
and acting as communication centres in times of crisis.
By Raising the bar in regards the durability and performance of our buildings, they
will last longer, require far less maintenance, and provide better shelter against the
increasingly unpredictable effects of climate change. In doing so, they will be more
sustainable than current standard construction methods. This project tries to achieve
this and to lead the industry towards building assets in the future, not liabilities. It
also proves that you can build responsibly in bush fire prone areas.