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FIRESMART BUILDING STRATEGIES

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Learn how to build #Firesmart so that you protect your most valuable assets - your family and your home.



MQN's mandate is to create resilient homes with WUI-Wildland-Urban Interface building codes to protect your investment and more importantly your family. Below are some of the site, landscaping and building material & finish strategies we employ as the gold standard when designing your home with us.


FIRESMART LANDSCAPING & SITE STRATEGIES:

1.MQN shall establish risk management at the onset of the project by:

a) establishing if the property is in a wildfire interface zone or high-density residential zone

b) engaging a geotechnical engineer to perform a site visit to review the slope of the land, soil and vegetation types to determine the risk to which a building is expected to be exposed and prepare a report if required by the Authourities.

c) engage a wildfire specialist to perform a site visit and prepare a wildfire threat assessment & mitigation report if required by the Authourities

2. A 1.5 m wide non-combustible zone with the following characteristics shall be established and maintained around all buildings and structures:

a) no combustible vegetation or materials should occupy this zone.

b) this zone can be created by the placement of any combination of walkways, gravel, rock ground cover or other similar materials.

c) wood fences and/or gates should not be used in this zone.

3. As the building site is cleared and prepared for construction, a zone starting at 1.5m extending to 10 m of cleared defensible space should be created around the building being constructed (or as close to this distance and the property will allow) and shall be established with the following characteristics:

a) combustible ground cover such as bark mulch should not be used;

b) establish only low-growing, non-coniferous herbs, and shrubs;

c) if lawn is to be established, it should be maintained in a green condition;

d) broad-leaved trees are acceptable, provided that leaf litter and debris is collected and disposed of off-site;

e) coniferous trees should not be established;

f) firewood and other similar combustible material should not be stored in this zone. construction must not result in hazardous fuel accumulations being left on site.

4. Around each building and structure, a zone starting at 10 m from the building and extending to 30 m from the building (as allowed by the property line) shall be established with the following characteristics:

a) coniferous trees may be established and/or retained, if branches within 3 m above the ground are removed once a tree reaches 10 m or more in height;

b) broad-leaved trees are preferred;

c) coniferous shrubs, such as juniper or arborvitae (cedar) should not be established during construction or after construction is complete;

d) leaf litter and other debris is collected and disposed of properly.

5. The following periodic maintenance activities shall be performed during construction and continued by home owner after construction is complete:

a) remove dead or dying vegetation promptly and dispose off-site. all clearing debris must be disposed of so as not to create a fuel hazard. disposal options include pile and burn, chip/grind and haul offsite, air curtain burner etc.;

b) remove vegetative debris (e.g., conifer needles) from roof assemblies and gutters and dispose off-site;

c) remove vegetative debris accumulations from porches, decks, or anywhere within the non-combustible zone and dispose off-site;

d) remove pruning debris and other yard waste promptly for off-site disposal;

e) cleared areas must be landscaped and improved according to #firesmart principles and guidelines.


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FIREFIRESMART BUILDING MATERIAL & FINISH STRATEGIES:

1. Buildings and structures shall incorporate the following building materials and/or finishes:

a) class A roof assembly;

b) fire resistant exterior cladding;

c) heavy timber or fire-resistant cladding for structural components of any decks, balconies, and porches;

d) no use of exposed wooden materials on horizontal surfaces that are receptive to embers (e.g., porches, deck, roof, etc.).

e) chimneys for wood burning appliances screened with 12mm non-corrosive metal mesh; note for cleaning and maintenance instructions for wood chimneys included in the manuals? specifically indicating the removal of the creosote; instructions to store of firewood and combustible materials

f) double paned or tempered window glazing;

g) all vents and similar openings screened with 3mm non-corrosive non-combustible metal mesh;

h) undersides of porches and decks screened or sheathed to #firesmart recommended standards to prevent the accumulation of combustible debris and to prevent the accumulation of embers.

i) if Electric Vehicle charging proposed to be enclosed within a garage and interior of garage to be treated with cellulosic intumescent paint.




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