Bushfire Resistant Design
In 1983 permaculture co-originator David Holmgren responded to the tragic Ash Wednesday fires with a project called The Flywire House. After many years out of print, Holmgren Design Services has now fast tracked the planned reissue of the Flywire House as an eBook. As a contribution to the rebuilding of devastated communities, Holmgren Design Services have decided to make Flywire House available as a free download.
[UPDATE Oct 2013: the old e-book is no longer available but the physical version can be purchased here.]
The Boral bushfire resistant house competition was the opportunity to showcase permaculture as a wholistic, integrated approach that went well beyond simple house design and construction. Teaming up with architect Maggie Fooke, the pre-digital age design was displayed on 14 large format thematic sheets covering:
- Fire Behaviour,
- How A House Burns,
- Choosing The Site,
- Site Layout,
- Broadscale Plantings,
- Water & Fire,
- Plantings and Services,
- House Design,
- Construction and Management.
New life after the devastation; surveying the damage and the beginnings of recovery in the Anglehook forest, Otway Ranges Victoria 1983.
Although the design was rejected for the competition because of its format and design well beyond the brief of the competition conditions, it was used by the Department of Planning in a travelling display of information that toured the bushfire affected regions of Victoria. The design also informed much of David Holmgren’s design work including his own property Melliodora, documented in an extensive case study A3 book (and eBook).
Ten years after the fires, the Flywire House: A case study in design against bushfire was published by permaculture publisher Nascimanere as an A4 spiral bound small book. Packed with information about the principles and practice of fire resistant, landscape and house design in ways in which are energy efficient, sustainable and productive: the essence of permaculture. The case study design property had been burnt out in the catastrophic Ash Wednesday fires of 1983 in the Dandenong Ranges of Victoria. The ideas are applicable to all fire prone regions.
After many years out of print, Holmgren Design Services has now fast tracked the planned reissue of the Flywire House as an eBook. As a contribution to the rebuilding of devastated communities, we have decided to make Flywire House available as a free download.
The currently available files (high and lower resolution pdfs) are simple scans of the original book pages. We will shortly have available a reworked eBook with a new foreword, basic navigation and enlargement (when viewed in Acrobat) similar to our other commercially available eBooks to replace these basic files. That replacement file will also be available as a free download. While there has been a great deal of research and publications on this subject in the years since 1983, the Flywire House is still compatible with latest understandings and provides a unique case study approach.
For those able and willing to financially support this and other work we do, a donation would be appreciated. For those burnt out and looking to rebuild, this information is a small contribution to the cause of rural and urban fringe self reliance.
New links (Updated Oct 2013)