Australian Resilient Building Council Releases App to Help Prevent Bushfires

Australians now have access to bushfire resilience software developed in collaboration with IT firm Endava and the Resilient Building Council (RBC).

The RBC’s Bushfire Resilience Rating Self-Assessment app is a major improvement in home security against bushfires; it is the product of rigorous testing and co-design with more than 1,200 households.

The program gives people the ability to assess their properties and determine how well they are prepared for a bushfire. With over 4,000 users having completed house assessments and received personalized action plans, the app has reached over 5,000 users across 242 LGAs in Australia since its introduction. The software has an impressive 80% completion rate, with 1,000 users participating in tests every week on average.

The development of a powerful, user-friendly solution that could make several computations and suggestions was of the utmost importance. A home-specific, intuitive, instructive, and practical road to resilience is essential. Shelley Beeston, a partner at Endava and venture lead, expressed enormous pride in being the technology partner for this groundbreaking climate effort. The goal was to reassure homeowners that making simple adjustments could instantly make their homes more resilient.

In pre-national launch trials, users who followed the app’s instructions reduced the probability of their homes burning by an average of 67% during bushfires.

A System for Rating Resilience
The software gives a comprehensive view of wildfire resistance. It is the first scientific approach to measuring a home’s bushfire resilience, and it covers everything from building construction and landscaping to ongoing upkeep.

The Resilience Ratings system offers an impartial evaluation of a structure’s energy efficiency and resilience in response to demands from numerous stakeholders, such as governments, insurers, banks, and the 2020 Australian Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

The development of an intuitive, user-friendly, and highly accurate instrument that could convey the full body of information behind our rating system was a major undertaking. Our app, which Endava assisted in developing, is capable of doing precisely that. After a remarkably positive testing period, RBC CEO Kate Cotter expressed her excitement about making the innovative product available to every Australian at no cost.

Strategically collaborating with the governments of Australia and New South Wales as well as the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), RBC intends to broaden its Resilience Ratings program by the middle of 2024. This expansion will include an integrated professional house evaluation addressing many climate impacts, such as floods, storms, cyclones, heatwaves, and energy efficiency.

The app receives positive reception from the industry.
In a statement, the ICA praised the creation of the Bushfire Rating App and highlighted the app’s function in lowering the risk of bushfires.

“The Insurance Council of Australia congratulates the Resilient Building Council for the development of the Bushfire Rating App. In order to identify and lessen the likelihood of bushfires, this app is a crucial resource for homeowners. It wants to make it easier for insurers to detect and apply reductions in insurance premiums based on retrofitting to high-risk families, informed by the app’s recommendations,” said ICA CEO Andrew Hall. “The ICA is grateful to the Resilient Building Council for their assistance in launching the Multi-Hazard Resilience Ratings program. This initiative will assist insurers and other sectors in recognizing the positive measures implemented by individual households.”