High demand for heat-coping approach

Stressed electricity networks that can’t guarantee supply have led to politicians advising people not to go home, but to go to the movies instead. Photo: Michael Mucci, from 梧桐夜网domain南京夜网419论坛Recent heatwavesacross much of the country have revealed a serious problem with our national housing stock.
Nanjing Night Net

Stressed electricity networks thatcan’t guarantee supplyhave led topoliticians advising people not to go home, but to go to the moviesinstead.

We are using airconditioning as a bandaid instead of identifying the cause.But imagine a future where we can reliably depend on our dwellings to help us “keep our cool”. Here’s what we need to consider:

BETTER DESIGN & CONSTRUCTIONThe public should paymore attention to the quality of their house – the roof, walls, windows and floor.

Many aspects of a home’sdesign(orientation, eaves, external shading and landscaping) and construction materials (roof colour and coating, insulation, glass and window type) can help control how hot it gets inside. Guides on these design features are available at the government’sYour Homewebsite.

Managing unwanted heat is possible throughclerestory windows, solar chimneys androof vents, while usingthe right materials.

An example of better designaspects are seen in thetraditional Queenslander architecture, which includes deep eaves, shady verandas, casement windows and louvres with high-performance insulation and tintedlow e-glass; dense internal materials such as rammed earth; and night time ventilation. These homesrarely surpass 30 degrees, despite the location.

BETTER RATINGSThestar rating of Australian homesis one attempt to communicate the best buildings designed for the heat. It is an indication of how a specific house design and its materials determine internal temperature.

While a good start, the rating system is based on past average weather patterns. Improvements could be made byusing current or even future weather data. Knowing the expected temperature of each room in the house would help to find cost effective solutions.

GOVERNMENT & INDUSTRY LEADERSHIPBuilding regulation is seen as ‘red tape’rather than consumer protection. Current building requirements, which vary bystateand bydwelling type, are inadequate inrepresenting heat proof homes.

Governments have already embarked on several projects including transitioning ourelectricity market, updating ourNational Construction Codeand refining ourdisaster management.

(This article was originally published onThe Conversation).

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