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Baldwin O’Bryan beats bushfires

Baldwin O’Bryan Architects, a small architecture practice in Australia, has designed stabilised compressed earth blocks to combat natural disasters.

Cost effective and sustainable building materials – these are just two key features top of mind for the earth sheltered structures.

“Earth sheltered buildings constructed from compressed earth blocks can easily be made bushfire resistant and have excellent thermal qualities,” according to Baldwin O’Bryan.

The construction system made with Webeta Structural Engineers and BSMART Australia is all inclusive, from the appliances to the plumbing, it costs $270,000 and makes room for a variety of permutations.

From granny flats, to courtyard atrium designs to layouts with a mezzanine level, the design is “a very sustainable building system”, and adaptable.

“The bricks can be readily manufactured from site soil at minimum expense and when the structure is a compression arch, the building costs are less than half the cost of reinforced concrete.”

In November 2015, Baldwin O’Bryan won The Bushfire Building Council of Australia’s Innovation Award for the best design concept.

The design resists entry points for ember attack, targeting the most common cause of building destruction in bushfires.

The low-cost home meets the requirements of the highest bushfire attack level in Australia, Flame Zone (FZ).

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