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How to Design a City for 50 degrees

Discussion in 'General Property Chat' started by Graeme, 9th Nov, 2015.

  1. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    The Conversation has a piece up called How to build a city fit for 50° C heatwaves.

    The short answer is that modern glass buildings are likely to become dinosaurs, and there'll be a return to tradition approaches that relied on thermal mass, such as thick walls and underground dwellings, as a solution. These are likely to be tempered with modern materials, such as phase-change materials.

    There's a companion piece, Could traditional architecture offer relief from soaring temperatures in the Gulf?

    So far my experience of Australian property is that most of it is poorly designed from an environmental perspective. There was an opinion piece in The Age comparing houses to tents earlier this year.

    I suspect that there's an opportunity for a developer to focus on green design. I've seen a few projects mentioned around Melbourne where that's an over-riding concern. But most new builds still don't use double glazing, which has been standard in the UK for decades, so there's a long way to go.
     
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  2. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    Don't come to Perth. Generally, we don't do climate responsive design (there are some exceptions). Just hook the entire house up to a massive reverse cycle ducted system and it will be cool or warm all year round :p

    They are doing something like this in White Gum Valley near Fremantle, Western Australia. It's not something I would have thought developers would be interested in but I heard on the grape vine they are falling over themselves to get involved. Note, the first link seems to be down so I have linked a couple of other articles as I think it is an interesting project.

    http://www.landcorp.com.au/Residential/White-Gum-Valley/
    Another WA housing estate to trial solar + storage via ‘shared strata’ model
    Green energy in White Gum Valley 'an Australian first'
     
  3. Ozzie in Texas

    Ozzie in Texas Well-Known Member

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    During our recent summer in San Antonio, we experienced temperatures in the high 30s / 40s with high humidity for about 4 months with little reprieve from the heat. No rain. No cooling winds. Just constant heat, day in day out.

    The constant heat just wears you down.......and it is impossible to do much of anything outside. Even the swimming pool doesn't offer much relief because the water also gets too hot for it to feel cooling.

    Here, we live in airconditioned homes, driving in airconditioned cars and shopping and work and do everything in airconditioning. It is a rare day that it is pleasant enough to open the windows. It's November and we're still wearing summer wear......but, it is finally getting cooler in the evenings.

    Double glazed windows and roofing and wall insulation can only do so much. Trust me. I know from experience.......our airconditioning broke down this summer and it took 2 days to get it repaired........and they were the most miserable 2 days.

    Living in an environment in the 50s is unimaginable. It is not humanly possible to live in those conditions. My body struggles when temperatures are in the 40s. The cost to the environment ......let alone your own pocket to cover electricity.....is unimaginable.
     
  4. hammer

    hammer Well-Known Member

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    We just had a weekend in the 40s up here..I spent it in a place designed for the tropics and it still sucked.

    At 50 degrees I'd be exchanging the house for a well designed hole in the ground. Either a hole that I can live in comfortably, or one that I can rest in peace....

    50 isn't just hot...its dangerous.
     
  5. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    Coober Pedy. Not only cool but how quiet would it be underground? :)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    What's the sudden concern about 50 degree temps?

    Here we go again - GW and CC? :rolleyes:

    The world temps haven't risen in the last 18 years, so this sort of talk of 50 degree temps is just more scare mongering and panic....we were told not that long ago that our dams would be empty and we'd run out of water by now, too.
     
    Last edited: 9th Nov, 2015
  7. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    Was a thing on the radio over here today re foolish trend the last few years (fashionable) to have black/dark roofs rather than white, and no eves, heat inside can be 6+ degrees higher.
    Even an area of housing commission when renovated recently were painted black

    Compared to the old days of corrugated, big eaves/balconies.

    Love an old Queenslander (house that is) full wrap around balconies, charm!
     
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  8. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    Do the same thing today, but with properly insulated walls, double-paned windows and properly sealing doors....would work pretty well.

    Our previous PPoR was a modern house, with a mass of large glass doors and windows on every level to take in the views and make it light inside as well - all double glazed...we had a house that was well insulated from extreme cold and heat despite the glass.
     
  9. Emoi

    Emoi Well-Known Member

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    I have looked at building SIP (structural insulated panels) homes here.
    Insulated foam panels walls and self supporting insulated foam panel roof.
    Basically living in a big esky. Noise and heat drastically reduced.
    Foam is pre-routed for wiring and plumbing and a suitable decorative face on inside and outer
    Flat panel construction, turns up flat packed like a big IKEA kitchen
    Quotes and actual build prices always end up a lot more than pine frame and brick construction even though the material and labour costs are drastically reduced.
    Australia is a bit backward when it comes to sensible ideas like this.
     
  10. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    I can see a future where we order these online and they turn up on site in a container from China. There are a few issues to overcome, like things not being built to Australian standards, but I think these isses will be resolved and it will happen eventually.
     
  11. LibGS

    LibGS Well-Known Member

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    My PPOR has an energy rating of 8.1 stars. But even that does not help after 5 days of 40+ degrees. Eventually the whole thing just heats up. It does cool down a bit overnight, but once bricks get hot, there is little you can do.

    I want a house made of space shuttle tiles.
     
  12. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    I seen one of these being built in a suburb of Perth recently, builders let me have a look through, explained it all etc, was very impressed, lots of potential, but yes disappointingly it's still cheaper to cut down trees etc...
     
  13. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    They are a big esky but they don't keep it cool! Bricks are a billion times better. (yes a billion I've done the numbers ;))

    They keep the heat in too, so by 10am its already heating up and will stay hot until midnight!
     
  14. hammer

    hammer Well-Known Member

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    In Darwin there is a trend to clad a brick house with colorbond. The metal heats up quickly but the air between the colorbond and the bricks insulates the bricks so they don't heat up as much.
     
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  15. Emoi

    Emoi Well-Known Member

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    And you can get colourbond filled with foam for even more insulation and sound deadening