With the onset of warmer weather the thoughts of Australians turn to keeping cool inside and outside the house, and smart design measures implemented by architects can help ensure the costs of doing so are kept to a minimum, according to Archicentre Australia.
These objectives are often neglected in the volume-builder based approach to residential construction that is the norm in Australia today, the national architect’s advisory service says.
“As with all sustainability measures, keeping cool efficiently and cost effectively is enhanced by considering a site’s natural attributes, including its relationship to the regular prevailing weather conditions, elevation and the compatibility with a proposed or existing dwelling,” Archicentre Australia director Peter Georgiev says.
“This is relevant for indoor as well as outdoor spaces.
“Incorporating heat prevention measures in the design phase of a new home or apartment and in the design of additions ensures maximum benefit is gained by the occupants.”
He says, “Looking to history for a lead, even recent history of the 1960s and 70s, the simple use of eaves at once provides sun control to windows and walls. This minimises sun penetration into living spaces and has the added benefit of delivering rain water away from external walls.
“Oddly, some building surveyors are misinterpreting current siting regulations in order to prevent use of eaves over windows when sited adjacent to side boundaries.
“This appears to encourage volume builders to find an excuse not to use eaves as a fundamental feature of everyday housing. This is both sad and stupid,” he says.
Similarly the use of verandahs was considered a necessity in most Australian homes built up until 50 years ago as they prevented the sun from penetrating internal living areas but they are now seldom incorporated into designs.
This was particularly the case with homes designed and built for the hotter parts of Australia where verandahs often extended around the entire house, such as with homesteads in rural areas.
Peter Georgiev says in Queensland many of the homes now called ‘Queenslanders’ not only had large verandahs but were built on top of stilts to encourage circulation of air.
He says other simple features such as maximising built control of bulk insulation pertaining to walls, ceilings/roof and floors, and effective double glazed systems are collectively devices that work for now and into the future.
“Externally the design should consider attributes such as shade, climate and house orientation.”
The onset of warmer weather also means the need for increased water conservation measures, he says, and these can also be incorporated into residential designs by architects.
For more information go to www.archicentreaustralia.com.au
This media release has been written and distributed by:
Peter Georgiev, Director
Level 1, 9 Strathalbyn Street,
Kew East, VICTORIA, 3102
Phone: 1300 13 45 13 | 03 9859 9950