Hi my name is Leong Hsien Loong and I’m an RMIT student. I’m currently doing a project on designing a bush fire bunker for an elective class as a part of my Architecture program. Today I would like to propose a Bushfire bunker as a part of a safety feature that should be implemented in future housing areas which are prone to bushfires. I hope this will help members of the affected Black Saturday disaster in the state of Victoria. The purpose of the design is that anybody without construction knowledge can be able to build this bunker. By using precast and cheap materials i think this design and can be affordable to whoever wishes to use this design as a safety precaution towards future bushfire incidents. My main idea came from the Vietnam Warfare and a system of underground bunkers and tunnels used by the German Nazi’s as a defensive system towards the warfare. The connecting link of tunnels and the design of the individual bunker make the design to me a “full-proof” design. There are a few options towards creating either a community bunker or just a backyard bunker for personal safety purposes. From my design sketches, options 1 is a design bunker for a large community scale bushfire bunker. Option 2 a proposal for a community bunker in a smaller scale. Option 3 works as a personal scale community bunker where each housing has its own personal bunker and it is linked up by tunnels in case one of the bunker is compromised by the fire. The residents in are able to move to adjacent bunkers. A bunker is basically an enclosed room partially submerged underground or fully located underground. In my design i chose to make my bunker partially submerged and in a small hilly form to allow partial visual communication with the outside world. The design allows residents in the bunker to have a connection with the fire knowing that they are safe in the bunker and still have a chance to survive and physically defending themselves rather being helpless in times of emergency. The hilly form allows the fire to be deflected and allows a heat buffer area between the fire and the precast materials used to house-hold the residents. Whilst the bunker is not being burnt, the hilly form can act as a landscape design. The size of the bunker can be variable, depending on the size of the resident’s family. In terms of material, the bunker can be either built with double layered mud bricks or a layer of precast fire-rated concrete panels and another layer of mud bricks. Both materials are very resistant to fire and I presume that it will keep the residents safe for more than 1hour. There is also a defensive system located in the bunker. I had an idea of creating this defensive system so that we can at least defend ourselves if this disaster ever happens again. The defensive system is located at the top of the bunker that sprays foam or compressed CO2 to suppress the fire from entering the main entrance. Just imagine the defensive system as a large fire extinguisher, located in the bunker. Thus ends my presentation on the bushfire bunker. I hope this design will inspire people and as a gesture of helping members of the Black Saturday disaster. Thank you for your time and any comments will be highly appreciative.
Published on Apr 12, 2009