Passive Design for ClimateSmart Housing
Design Principles for Housing in Queensland’s Climate Zones An Introductory Guide
Passive design is a key feature of a sustainable house. This guide provides an overview of the passive design principles and associated information that can improve household comfort, livability and savings in each of Queensland’s four climate zones. It presents a summary of passive design concepts and benefits that can be used to assist in designing a new house, or altering or purchasing an e isting house. Passive Design Principles for Energy Efficient Housing in Queensland The sale and use of air!conditioners in Queensland has increased rapidly in the last few years due to a range of factors, including housing being inappropriately designed for it is prevailing climate. To realise a more suitable and sustainable housing design for our climate it is important to consider traditional housing styles. The classic "Queenslander’ can be considered to provide some useful insights for #$limate%mart& housing, and many of its design principles are behind the "re!found’ movement for today’s passively designed homes. !e "Queenslander’ House The old #Queenslander& style house is generally regarded as a good e ample of a comfortably designed house broadly adapted for Queensland’s climate. 'lthough residents in the southern part of the state sometimes refer to "freezing’ in them in winter as they can often allowed cool night air to leak indoors (if they didn’t have an internal fireplace) or occasionally being in an "oven’ during summer heat waves, the Queenslander was, for its time, reasonably adapted to suit our climate on most days of the year. If bulk insulation had been available and included as part of its construction, it would have basically addressed the ma*ority of housing comfort needs in most of the state, and for all seasons. 'lthough it was built throughout Queensland, it is recognised that it does not perform as well in climate +ones , - .ot 'rid and / - 0arm Temperate, where thermal mass has a more beneficial role than the lightweight design of the Queenslander. The design of the Queenslander originally came from India during the days of the 1a* when 2nglish 3ictorians had to adapt to its hot, tropical climate. There were often substantial roof overhangs (roof eaves), or awnings were over every window with returns on the low!sun sides to block direct sunlight (window eaves). The sash windows could be opened not only at sill level (sometimes at floor level), but also from the top of the high frame. 0ith high ceilings, this allowed fresh air to enter higher up and travel across the room before filtering through the fanlight space above the door, and through to the window on the other side of the house - creating e cellent cross! ventilation for cooling. ' ceiling rose at the centre of each room e pelled the hot air that was not blown out the sides up into the roof space, which then travelled out of the roof’s ridge vents. The front door usually opened onto a long hallway that ended at the rear door. 0rap!around verandas provided substantial shade and created a "transition zone’ - that wonderful space where residents could en*oy the opportunity to find the coolest spot on a hot day (with sections of timber lattice that filtered the harsh summer western afternoon light) or the warmest sunny spot during winter. !e Evolution of Queensland’s Housing Stoc# 4ver time, changing social attitudes re*ected the historic form of the Queenslander. The possibility for more privacy increased with higher average incomes and the verandas, or #sleep!outs&, were simply enclosed to accommodate e tra bedrooms. The transition zone was thereby absorbed, and with it, cross ventilation opportunities decreased. 'lso, newer designs often did not e tend the roof out to provide for the lost veranda shade cover for cooling. The ceiling height dropped and the fanlights and the ceiling roses also disappeared. .owever, the windows were often casement types that could still be positioned to catch some breeze, or louvres that could be opened to catch the full breeze. 2ventually though, these practical windows subsided as sliding aluminium windows came onto the market, effectively halving the amount of potential cross!ventilation into the house. .omeowners may have gained more privacy and saved on purchase costs, but they lost their home’s natural comfort and livability potential.
roof and window eaves. 0here practical. %& .Solar/ 0ort! as Degrees 1est of 2agnetic 0ort! . the southern side of the house should normally be shaded. '& ventilation .==2 of true north is acceptable). 's a general rule. so design this space for fle ible use. entry and laundry should be positioned to the south!west to shield the house from the setting sun.g.openings throughout the house allow summer breezes to provide cooling cross!ventilation. they have been supplied in bulk.insulate the roof space against heat and cold transfer. this principle applies mostly to +ones . as houses were often built with the living room facing the street regardless of their western sun orientation and local climatic conditions. )& insulation . %un path diagrams for a range of Queensland’s ma*or cities and regional centres have been
.0arm Temperate where hot days can be followed by cool nights).ouse orientation is the fundamental passive design principle as it significantly affects the house’s comfort and energy performance. . the ma*ority of houses in Queensland have not been designed and built individually. In +one 5 . $onsider how the plan interacts with the site. while midday winter sun is toward the north. as good orientation ma imises the benefits of solar access. 6ittle thought has been given to providing good room!zoning opportunities.Tropical. summer shading and wind protection. .rue . developers and builders have started to realise some basic passive design principles. cooling breezes.build in thermal mass to absorb heat where it can be useful to re!radiate this heat at night (:. (& s!ading . and insulate the walls where no overhangs are provided.rientation . The application of these passive design principles for housing in Queensland’s climate are detailed further below. 7aps and street directories can give this information. the midday summer sun strikes the southern face of the house. and their south!western side acts as a buffer against westerly winds. *& t!ermal mass . such as including a north! facing living room. Establishing True (Solar) North. e ternal walls..generally. it is recommended houses be orientated so their western side blocks out the heat from the low summer sun.use energy!efficient materials appropriate for the climate zone to improve thermal performance e. storage rooms. and / .ot 'rid. windows<glass<tinting and solar pergolas. This allows appropriately sized eaves to admit sun in winter to heat the house and shade it from the hot summer sun. In areas north of 1ockhampton.%ince the %econd 0orld 0ar. window area on the north!facing wall should be 5=!>/ percent of the floor area of the room so that the room can gain suitable access to winter sun. 7ore recently however. 9tility areas such as the garage. $undamental Passive Design Principles The above summary highlights the need for the incorporation of fundamental passive design principles to achieve more comfortable houses that are also energy efficient i. Instead. wherever possible. +& materials . as this can provide some liveable outdoor space in summer..effectively shading walls and windows prevents heat transfer e.owever it should also be recognised that this space can occasionally get cool on winter days.e.g. located in sub!divisions cleared for suburban development. orientate the living area to the north for winter warmth in the cooler parts of Queensland and away from the summer sun in north Queensland. or alternatively use a compass to determine magnetic north and then subtract true (solar) north by adding the magnetic variation for your location using the following map8 Diagram. not Magnetic North It should be noted that true (or "solar’) north significantly deviates from magnetic north throughout Queensland and this should be taken into account when orientating a house.3our Home/ The ideal orientation is between the range of 5/ =0 to >==2 of true (solar) north (although >= =0 to . The si passive design principles are (in order of priority)8 %& orientation . cooler in summer and (in cooler parts of Queensland) warmer in winter.
asically. 's a bitumen road readily absorbs heat because of its colour. as long as the roof is ade?uately ventilated. iii. 0hirlybirds are becoming a common roof feature.
.gov. This allows the heat gathered at ceiling level to be e pelled up into the roof space. They need not all be glass. but the hot air in the roof space also stays longer. thereby potentially enhancing comfort levels and minimising energy demands. The clerestorey design also offers an alternative for ridge venting. 2aves and soffits should be vented to allow cooler air into the roof space and the vents are to be kept free of any blockages. Aor e ample. 0hilst it is incorrect to suggest that all roofs should be white. and similarly if there are only ridge vents (as the hot air can not escape effectively). The ridge can be vented in a number of ways. ii. the ultimate home comfort aim is to live in a house so well ventilated and shaded that it would be like sitting under a large tree on a hot day where the breeze can pass unhindered. ' light!coloured roof is also a good advantage. The first is a short gable at the ridge providing ade?uate weathering protection and permanent ventilation.%ub!tropical also need to be sealed in winter to keep the warmth in. . 'ttempt to locate doors ad*acent to each other as this can also assist with cross ventilation. 1idge vents remove this heat.ousing web site8 www.ouses that have insufficient eave overhangs and vents are not only penalised by their lack of shaded protection to the walls.
.au<builders<smart@housing<sunpaths<orientation. The openable venting area can be greatly increased. $asement windows and hinged doors can catch the breeze when positioned correctly. 0hen fi ed to the underside of the rafters (e cluding truss rafters) it will normally create a thermal flow for the rising hot air to escape out through the roof’s ridge vents. 2ffective roof ventilation can remove this heat build up through openings in the roof’s eaves and the placement of ridge vents. The addition of bulk insulation can also slow down the movement of this heat. 's air moves upward when heated. Roof space and colour 'n oven perched on top of a house is a reasonable analogy as to what happens inside a roof in summer. 1eflective foil needs to have a minimum /= millimetre gap between the underside of the roof sheeting to function effectively. but a better choice is the fi ed!vent versions that do not have the maintenance<replacement re?uirements of moving parts. %liding windows are very infle ible. with larger roofs re?uiring more than one vent. 3ents located in flat ceilings in the hallway and kitchen can provide an additional advantage.?ld. as timber louvers provide shade as well as breeze (and remember to chose from plantation timbers). though the opening should not be located towards the summer sun as that could allow unwanted solar gain. 6ouvers and awning windows can direct the breeze down into the living space of a room. Cross ventilation 4nce the breeze is inside the house it should be able to flow through to the other side as uninterrupted as possible. air enters through vents provided in the eaves and heated air rises to the roof’s ridge where it can be e pelled through ridge vents. a dark roof does the same. as they generally have two panes and only ever have potentially half of the opening available to catch breezes. such as ceiling insulation and foil. ' solution to this problem when using metal deck roofing is to simply provide a second skin of sheeting at the ridge. $areful planning of rooms is re?uired such as (wherever possible) two windows in each bedroom to provide better cross ventilation. but it can only repel a limited amount. Insulation acts as a barrier to prevent hot air from radiating down into the house’s habitable spaces. $eiling vents in +one > . ad*ustable fanlights or vents are recommended over internal door openings to remove the hot air accumulating at ceiling level in summer. those with a light!coloured roof will reduce the heating capacity of their home’s roof space. the more fle ible the opening the better its potential for ventilation. close enough to the main roof to prevent rain entering yet sufficient to allow heated air inside to escape. ' light!coloured roof can reflect unwanted heat before it even gets into the roof space.housing. Openings 's windows and door openings receive breezes.htm '& 4entilation Throughout Queensland’s summer. %uch a concept can be incorporated into a house through applying the design features presented below8 i. and these can be downloaded from the %mart . if the cool summer breeze is from the north!east then ensure the windows are hinged on the western side of the outside frame (or the left side from inside the room).devised to provide assistance with specific house orientation issues and room zoning. . They also need to be able to be closed to reduce heat loss in winter.
Proper landscaping.iv. there are differences in the amount of shading. and naturally warm the house. are not recommended to be used purely as shading devices as air cannot circulate as freely inside as it can outside. In addition. %creens. 0indow awnings are recommended where there are little or no roof eaves. %o. $athedral ceilings often have little or no roof space which would normally assist to reduce heat flows between the roof and the ceiling. Cathedral ceilings $athedral ceilings are angled. .0arm Temperate. %hading lowers the house’s heating capacity and can minimise the need for air!conditioning. so it is also important to provide good roof and ceiling insulation. the winter sun passes lower in the northern sky. In the northern parts of Queensland. particularly if there is a sliding window with no chance at all for the heat to escape. ' typical e ample of this is when you get into your car when it has been in the sun with all windows wound up.slightly to the south in summer and slightly to the north in winter. ' range of varieties are available and include traditional and contemporary designs. 1e!locating verandahs and covered balconies to the east or west can also improve shading.y adopting this design feature. insulation can be installed inside roofs and walls to better regulate this heat flow. 4f particular interest is the ad*ustable shutter. it is not sufficient to simply attach an awning the e act width of the window as sunlight often hits the window obli?uely and can heat a large proportion of the glass. These rays cannot then pass back out through the glass. The house has higher e posure to direct sunlight in the cooler time of the year.ouses need to be insulated from the heat in summer and. hot air rises inside the house and is trapped in the room. such as curtains inside the window. Insulation can assist to reduce the effects of these e treme temperatures as it provides greater comfort levels. as well as significant vegetation. The sun’s rays pass through glass as long!wave radiation and are changed to short!wave radiation once inside. (& S!ading %hading includes roof eaves (overhangs). )& Insulation . roofs and walls. 4pa?ue screens or shutters can act as remedies as they can be fi ed on the outside wall and ad*usted to suit. 's the main sources of heat flow is through glass. so too does the angle of the sun. 2ffective overhangs on the north and south of the house and shielding from the rising and setting sun on the east and west will provide ade?uate shading to the house for most of the year. that may reduce direct east and west sunlight penetration into wall(s). 'nother way to further overcome the problem is to use plants as a screen. shading and<or insulation is re?uired. 'wnings should be wide enough to shade the window during summer when the angle of the sun is steep and hot. 's the seasons change. such as the afternoon. for those areas especially those in +one / . as the sun’s rays can pass under the overhangs and<or awnings. although this cannot supplement a structural screen for the obvious reason that a plant screen may at be removed in the future. . a type often found in Italy. awnings and pergolas can also reduce the air temperature before it reaches the house. 's most e ternal wall systems have a low thermal resistance. overhangs. 9nwanted heat from the habitable areas rises away from the occupants as it warms the air and accumulates at the highest point of the ceiling. pools or water features and other e ternal shading devices such as verandas. from the cold in winter. window eaves (awnings). with ceiling sheets fi ed to the underside of rafters or scissor trusses. 2 tra measures are needed to reduce the amount of heat absorbed on the eastern and western sides at sunrise and sunset.%ub!Tropical. If the warmed air is not allowed to escape it will eventually fill the room. They are ideal in hot climates if they are designed properly. In +one > .owever. so it is essential to release the heat gathered at the ridge. either into a ventilated roof space or directly outside through wall openings placed *ust below the highest part of the ceiling.
. the sun arcs almost directly over the house throughout the year . as it can also be hinged within the individual leaves to provide an awning for further ventilation. the house can achieve a better comfort level and reduce the need for mechanical heating.
the greater its insulation properties. reverse block construction is the opposite design of a conventional brick veneer wall.owever. . Arom the viewpoint of heat transfer. ample sunshine is available to warm the inside of a house (provided that a sufficient north!facing window area is available). :ight!time temperatures must be low enough to remove all of the heat the thermal mass has gained throughout the day.0arm Temperate. 1!value re?uirements for roofs and walls may differ between climate zones.uilding $ode of 'ustralia (.'ll insulating materials have an #1!value&. To keep a house warm at night there must be enough thermal mass to store solar heat during the day so that it can be released at night. Aor effective heat transfer to occur.0arm Temperate areas of Queensland. Curing clear winter days. 's the temperature of the ground below the surface remains relatively constant throughout the year. This process allows the thermal mass to cool the room by absorbing heat from the air. there is little advantage in *ust having large north!facing windows to collect sunshine if there is insufficient thermal mass to store solar heat when it is needed at night. $oncrete "slab!on!ground’ floors provide "thermal coupling’. allowing heat to be transferred from inside the house to the ground below the house. In +one > . massive construction is important for winter comfort. In cold temperate climates. The higher the value. concrete slab!on!ground floors should not be covered with carpet as this acts as an insulating layer.e.%ub!tropical. brick and other masonry.ot 'rid areas makes thermal mass an appropriate tool to achieve household comfort as it acts to even out the peaks and troughs of the temperature differences.$') re?uirement for the relevant climate zone. The ma*or problem of winter cold discomfort occurs with the on!set of evening through to the early morning (i. The final design should achieve an 1!value at least e?uivalent to the . its capacity can be used to absorb heat on hot summer days and release heat on cold winter nights. Installing more insulation than is re?uired by the . as well as ade?uate insulation in roofs and walls.eat conductive materials. to slow the escape of heat. winter temperatures usually rise to a comfortable level in the daytime. have Dthermal massD i. . Thermal mass can moderate internal household temperatures by averaging day<night (diurnal) e tremes. The re!radiating property of thermal mass at night is a liability and an un!insulated thermal mass wall in
. such as rammed earth. 2ven in +one / .$' will provide additional benefits.. timber or fibre!cement) on the outside with massive construction materials comprising the inside layer of the wall. do not interfere with heat transfer to the ground.e. solar heat entry (via good orientation) and insulation can work together to provide winter comfort.Tropical is generally too small to allow this cooling effect with thermal mass. 'nother means of providing thermal mass is "reverse block construction’. . Thermal mass can be applied effectively by using8 Tiled or concrete slab floorsE $avity masonry wallsE Interior masonry wallsE or 2 terior masonry walls. thermal mass can be used to maintain comfortable conditions in summer and winter. which is a unit of thermal resistance used for comparing insulating values of different materials. This techni?ue uses lightweight cladding (like steel sheeting. when no solar energy is available). Add more on insulation from Your Home? *& !ermal 2ass
Cense materials like concrete. such as tiles and vinyl floor coverings. the diurnal temperature range). ' large diurnal temperature range in +one . The diurnal temperature range in +one 5 . In +one / . materials that have ability to absorb and store heat during the hottest part of the day so that it can be released at night to create internal warmth. thermal mass. and then be able to cool the wall or floor so that it remains cooler than the internal air temperature for the following day. Thermal mass can cool a house in summer only in regions where summer night!time temperatures are sufficiently lower than summer day!time temperatures (i. 'n intermediate air space (which may contain bulk or reflective foil insulation) isolates the internal massive wall from heat gain or loss to the e ternal environment.e. This techni?ue can be effective provided there is a sufficient north!facing window area and thermal mass.
%traw bale construction provides an e tremely high 1!value and has been used throughout 'ustralia. and sites inaccessible to transport heavy materials. provided the roof insulation does not cover it. Windows/Glass 0indow size. %ome manufacturers concertina the reflective foils to automatically provide for .direct sun is likely to begin radiating heat into the house well before sun!set. The ground a house sits on is usually much cooler than the air circulating around it. low!cost solution to deal with steep sloping sites./.
.. and near a north!facing window for that low winter sun in southern Queensland. The $%I14 has recently established that rammed earth does not perform particularly well as an insulating material (as it has a low 1!value)./. 4ther alternative construction options are #rammed earth walls& or #straw bale walls&. ' vertical air gap itself provides an 1!value of =. location.B. The gap with the concertina is essential to allow thermal resistance. it is an e cellent source of thermal mass when inside the house. 'nother feature that can be used in lightweight construction is a "suspended floor’. Providing ventilation within and around thermal mass can help to decrease heat gain and radiation. %uspended concrete floors are occasionally used in houses. security and visual amenity connecting interior and e terior spaces.5H. which is simply a floor raised above the ground and suspended.5F. They also offer a simple. but non slab!on!ground floors are also called #suspended& (it is actually more usual to refer to the term #suspended& in con*unction with #concrete&E timber and steel!framed floors are usually *ust called timber or steel!framed floors). to radiate back into the room at night. :ormal glass has low insulation properties. thermal mass should be insulated and totally shaded to reduce the amount of heat it absorbs during the day. In domestic construction a suspended floor is usually associated with *oist and bearer construction (either steel or timber). $oncrete blocks with e ternal foam insulation give an 1!value of 5. and pro imity of ad*acent buildings. 'n additional render will provide a further resistance to heat transfer. effectively taking advantage of the thermal mass of the soil beneath the house. referred to as reverse bric veneer has the advantage in cooler climates of providing an internal thermal mass to soak up the heat produced inside the house during the day. Good window selection can optimise the combination of natural lighting. External Walls 2 ternal walls are re?uired to achieve minimum energy efficiency through its 1!value (refer %ection B). unstable soils. noise control. If used. ii. 'erated autoclaved concrete at >== millimetres thick will give an 1!value of 5. glass (glazing) and frame type can significantly affect household heat loss and gain. 6ightweight construction is a valid approach to achieve summer comfort in both +one 5 . are worth considering as they are becoming more affordable and do not allow as much heat transfer into the room(s). It not only has good insulation properties. hence the need for shading devices. allowing the air to rise as it is heated and be released at the top into the roof space. Internal brickwork (or concrete blocks) and a lightweight e ternal skin. The vents in the roof will remove the heat and promote the air in the cavity to rise as convection currents are established. as lightweight materials cool down ?uickly. including8 i. Insulation on the inside of the wall will reduce the heat radiated into the house. such as #low!e& glass.$' re?uirements. The re?uired 1!value for e ternal walls can be achieved through a composite layering of materials. reflective tinting or double!glazing with insulated window frames.Tropical and +one > %ub!tropical areas. ventilation. but is also one of the cheapest and most sustainable alternative building products. It is recognised that slab!on!ground is the one piece of thermal mass that works well in the tropics. however this significantly depends on the topology. 'lternatives to standard clear glass windows. Couble!glazing with a 5>mm air space between the panes has an 1!value of =. %ingle glazing without curtains achieves an 1!value of =. %ome manufacturers are now producing insulating glass.owever. . The main benefit of suspended floors is that the house may be elevated into less interrupted breeze paths. +& 2aterials ' range of energy!efficient materials can be used to assist thermal comfort and natural lighting. surrounding vegetation.
windows and floors . such as being able to gain good orientation. Passive design traditionally aims to maintain a house’s thermal comfort without mechanical heating or cooling by using natural energy flows . . thereby minimising the need for artificial cooling or heating. can allow too much heat and light into a room. ' house’s "building envelope’ . Solar pergolas
%olar pergolas are shade structures that have angled blades. . as well as reduce its energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions.refer to $igure ' & p+ Insulation and 4entilation at 7esearc! House/ . iv.e. roofs that are not waterproof). but can allow the low!angled winter light and warmth to enter between the blades. 1!at are "Climate Zones’ for Housing8
. 2ven where ideal conditions are not possible. in winter.omeowners do not need to pay hundreds of dollars every year on heating and<or cooling costs if they take easy opportunities to access passive design . It can be built to be thermally comfortable on all but a handful of days throughout the year.it *ust performs better.refer to $igure % 6 p) Passive Design Diagram/ . and therefore be more affordable in the longer!term.fundamentally controls its heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter. $an these be retro!fitted I 1ayJ 'nother new product being used for skylights is an acrylic sheet with laser!cut striations that allow a smaller amount of heat and light through the acrylic panels in the middle part of the day when traditional skylights.
Passive Design and its 5enefits The incorporation of passive design elements into a new or e isting house can create a more comfortable home to live in. The benefits for owners of homes with passive design include lower energy costs and gaining a greater en*oyment of Queensland’s climate when compared with residents of conventional houses. if poorly located. is effectively shaded and insulated. They can be an invaluable feature to a house in the sub!tropics and are ideal for the change in seasons. ' skylight can be used in darker rooms and darker parts of large rooms.wers. 0hilst a house that incorporates passive design features may cost slightly more upfront. walls. save on its operating costs. 3ariations on the traditional solar pergola that allow the blades to be ad*usted to the point of closing them completely can provide an (almost) waterproof roof.it’s roof. the integration of passive design is a wise investment choice as part of future!proofing your home and making it perform more sustainably as it can effectively respond to a site’s prevailing climatic conditions. significant levels of improved comfort and energy efficiency can still be obtained by incorporating other passive design principles. ' well!designed building envelope will ma imise cooling air movement and e clude sun in summerE and. Aor more information on 021% and how to select the most energy!efficient windows for your house and climate go to8 www. ' passively designed house looks like a conventional home . 9sing passive design to filter or modify a house’s building envelope to design for climate can significantly improve its thermal performance. %kylights should be well sized and located so as not to allow too much bright light to penetrate through the roof.The 0indow 2nergy 1ating %cheme (021%) is a system that rates both the glass and frame performance of windows. Skylights %kylights can improve indoor lighting by allowing natural sunlight to enter the house through the roof. and also not to overe pose householders to direct indoor summer sun. ma imises breezes for ventilation. which prevent summer sun penetration (i. trap and store heat from the sun to minimise heat loss.omeowners also have peace of mind given that their home has greater energy efficiencies. it will become cost!effective over time through annual operational savings.net iii. ' passively designed house is well!orientated with good room zoning.designing more with nature. thereby reducing the need for artificial lighting and electricity. it will have a lower greenhouse gas contribution through the reduction in burning of fossil fuels for electricity generation as it performs more responsively to its prevailing climate. Given that an average house lasts for more than F= years. uses appropriate materials for energy!efficiency and optimises natural lighting . not against it.
$. passive design responses need to account for this local climatic variation. will also fundamentally contribute to housing design. configuration and orientation.uilding $ode of 'ustralia (.%ub!tropical +one .ureau of 7eteorology records and monitors this local climatic data across its local weather stations throughout Queensland (refer to #1eferences& below for this website to access data in your local area). $onsider how your plan interacts with ad*oining properties in terms of potential impacts. . Passive design measures are recommended to appropriately reflect the significance of these climatic changes to future!proof your house (refer to "Cesign for Global 0arming’ below). 2ssentially. 2ach s?uare metre of your floor plan will cost on average around L5>== to design and build.0arm Temperate :ocal Climatic Conditions 6ocal climatic conditions (i.= years for Perth). as good indoor<outdoor relationships are important in taking advantage of Queensland’s favourable outdoor lifestyle. and every year thereafter directly affect how much you spend on heating and cooling re?uirements. does not e ist in Queensland) +one / .$') and administered through the 'ustralian . 1esearch into local climate is recommended if undertaking passive design and this should include average8 ! temperature ranges (both seasonal and diurnal (daily))E ! humidity levelsE and ! prevailing wind direction and speed. properties located in coastal areas can have different seasonal temperature.e. visual and acoustic privacy.). The .Temperate (:.t!er $eatures of Sustaina9le Housing Design
.Tropical +one > .$limate zones assist in determining design and materials relevant to a defined region’s weather conditions to improve a house’s thermal performance for comfort and energy efficiency. 't a site level. . Aor instance. microclimate) differ within each defined climate zone. They are spatially categorised using local government areas. There is increasing evidence that global warming is already affecting annual averages in weather. costs and operation.oard ('.t 4ther local site elements such as lot size. is the site located upslope or downslopeE what is the solar access<shading patterns (summer and winter)E and how does stormwater flow across the site etcJ Site and $loor Plan Connections The connection between the site and the floor plan needs to be carefully considered. and allow interaction with your neighbours when you want it. topography (slope). Site Conte. avoid having windows and outdoor living areas directly facing the same aspect of the neighbouring property. humidity and wind differences (prevailing direction and speed) from those located even less than /= kilometres away in the hinterland. This will minimise the impacts on solar access. Aor e ample. the total average annual rainfall has decreased by around >=K in the last .. Queensland has four climate zones. $limate zones are defined by the . such as temperature and rainfall (for e ample. Aor e ample. House Si<e and Costs The size of your house is the most important element in controlling its costs and environmental impact. including the pro imity of neighbouring buildings and<or vegetation upon the site’s microclimate. these being . buy or build your home to meet your needs now and into the future. vegetation and soil type.uilding $odes .refer to a9le % and $igure %/8 +one 5 .ot 'rid +one B .
such as solar hot water systems. as well as understory retention to assist in preserving ecological values). Given the lifespan of our housing.Climate C!ange/ The $%I14 predict that 'ustralia will be hotter and drier in the coming decades due to global warming. Planning and adapting to climate change is more important than ever. as a different approach is re?uired for passive design with an air!conditioner in order to ma imise energy efficiency. %un e posure and internal heat transfer through standard clear glass can also be significant. $hanges in rainfall patterns are e pected to lead to drier conditions across the continent. ' well!considered passive designed house may include targeting ma*or habitable room(s) that can be efficiently air! conditioned. 'n air!conditioned room should have8 ! insulated at the walls (internal and e ternal). doors and vents to restrict air escaping outside or to parts of the house that are not directly sub*ect to air!conditioning. Passive Design and Air=Conditioners 0ith the decreasing cost of air!conditioners and their growing popularity. In cooler parts of Queensland. glass types and not to use more window area than is necessary to create well!ventilated room(s) when an air!conditioner is switched off. if only to deal with the e tremes of uncomfortably hot summer days. ' passively designed house can promotes energy efficiency by reducing the need for air!conditioning. ' more sustainable home can incorporate a range of features to account for energy and water supply and consumptionE accessibilityE greywater and blackwater systemsE stormwater management (minimising cut and fill on!site to maintain natural drainage patterns and detention basins. %elected room(s) can be created that are easy to mechanically cool. it is becoming realistic to e pect that at some stage most homeowners will install an air!conditioner. rainwater tanks and photovoltaic (solar) energy supply. occurrences of heatwaves and landslips. and preventing soil erosion<sediment and nutrient run!off to our waterways)E and biodiversity (through maintaining significant trees. it is increasingly important to practically factor in these global warming issues when passively designing a house. Cecide early in the design stages if an air!conditioner is going to be used for such purposes. and whose function is fle ible enough to accommodate a range of future uses. but with more short and intense storms. can significantly complement a passively designed house. The house will be more comfortable throughout the year and the number of days when air conditioning is re?uired will be reduced. Increasingly warmer conditions are e pected to produce more e tremely hot days and fewer cold days. are worth considering as they are becoming more affordable and do not allow as much heat transfer into the room(s). Passive Design and Ceiling $ans
. 'lternatives to standard clear glass windows. including intense storm events. It is also predicted that there will be increases in wind speed. This includes building well above historic flood levelsE designing stormwater management systems for more intense rainfallE appropriate location and foundations if building on sloping sitesE using vegetation well adapted to drought<water!limited durationsE and generally to incorporate passive design features and materials to endure warmer and more e treme weather conditions. 'nnual average temperatures are e pected to rise.%ustainable technology fittings. such as #low!e& glass. Designing for Glo9al 1arming . so care should be taken when designing air!conditioned spaces with window location. reflective tinting or double!glazing with insulated window frames. 'll of these features are recommended to be included as part of an integrated design response as they can collectively improve the efficiencies and performance of a more sustainable house. It can be beneficial to record these adaptable design features to pass on to future owners to improve the house’s re!sale value. the principles for designing more efficient air!conditioned spaces also apply to room(s) that may be heated. however this warming wonNt be the same everywhere. ceiling and floorE and ! sealable windows. Queensland can generally e pect decreases in rainfall.
risbane can typically turn a . Passive Design 7esponses for Queensland’s Climatic Zones Table 5 presents Queensland’s four climate zones and type. $eiling fans to all living and bedroom areas in a lightweight house in . $eiling fans with a reverse function option can similarly improve the efficiency of mechanical heating systems.risbane region
. 9sed together. thereby making them much cheaper to run.Passive Design 7esponses for Queensland’s Climatic Zones Climate Zone % % Climate ype Prevailing 1eat!er C!aracteristics
• high humidity with a degree of "dry season’ • high temperatures year round • minimal seasonal temperature variation • low diurnal (day<night) temperature range
Design 7esponses '
Selected :ocal Government Areas
(P ma*or township) $airns Townsville Thuringowa . ceiling fans cost less than air!conditioners to purchase and they generally only use less than 5=K of the energy re?uired to operate.
a9le %. all houses in Queensland are recommended to have ceiling fans or a similar energy!efficient method of circulating air.urdekin ('yr) Couglas (7ossman) 'therton $ook (0eipa P $ooktown) . a ceiling fan can allow an air!conditioner to run at more energy! efficient levels e. by setting the air!conditioner temperature at >B =$ instead of more energy consuming 5M =$. 'dditionally. %elected local government areas are also shown for each climate zone. 7ost new ceiling fans have this reverse function option. every 5 =$ higher can save 5=K on operating costs). humid !ear round
• high humidity with a
• northern orientation • site house<rooms to ma imise e posure to local breezes • elevate building to permit airflow beneath floors • minimise building width for cross ventilation • high or raked ceilings • use fully openable windows (louvres or casements) to ma imise breezes • provide operable ceiling vents to all rooms • ventilate roof spaces (pop! vents or slotted eaves with fi ed roof vents) • shade windows and walls (eaves) for summer and winter • use reflective insulation and vapour barriers • preferably use lightweight construction (low thermal mass) • light coloured roof and wall materials • screen and shade outdoor living areas • design and build for cyclonic conditions • northern orientation
. and can effectively cut cooling costs by up to /=K. potentially avoiding the need to install or switch on an air!conditioner.g.inchinbrook (Ingham) Qohnstone (Innisfail) 7ornington Island
ropical hot.owen . The cooling effect of air movement can greatly improve room comfort. their prevailing weather characteristics and design responses appropriate for each zone.'lthough not strictly a passive design measure.!star energy rated house into a /!star energy rated house. homeowners can save up to L5/= a year on their electricity bills (or alternately.
dry summer winds
• site house<rooms to ma imise e posure to local breezes • allow passive solar access in winter only • minimise building width for cross ventilation • ventilate roof spaces (use convective (stack) ventilation. but cool in winter • significant diurnal temperature range • hot. mild "inter
Hot Arid hot dr! summer.undaberg Gladstone 1ockhampton 6ivingstone (Reppoon) 7ackay Aitzroy (Gracemere) :ebo
2merald 6ongreach $harters Towers 7ount Isa 1oma 7urweh ($harleville) .eaudesert 7aryborough . "arm "inter
• low rainfall and low humidity • very hot summer • no e treme cold.iloela) .ay . slotted eaves with fi ed roof vents) • use fully openable windows (louvres or casements) to ma imise breezes • provide operable ceiling vents to all rooms • shade windows and walls (eaves) for summer • shade east and west walls and glass year round (eaves) • use reflective insulation and bulk insulation • use lightweight construction where diurnal range is lowE include thermal mass where diurnal range is significant • light coloured roof and wall materials • screen and shade outdoor living • northern orientation • site house for solar access and e posure to cooling breezes • ma imise cross ventilation • use fully openable windows (louvres or casements) to ma imise breezes • provide operable ceiling vents to all rooms • ventilate roof spaces (use convective (stack) ventilation. mild winter • distinct seasonal temperature variation • moderate to low diurnal temperature range.Climate Zone %
Prevailing 1eat!er C!aracteristics
definite "dry season’ • hot summer.ervey .anana (.ooringa (7itchell) $hinchilla 7undubbera 7urgon Perry (7ount Perry)
.elyando (7oranbah) . slotted eaves with fi ed roof vents) • shade east and west walls and glass in summer (eaves) • use reflective insulation and bulk insulation in ceilings and walls • use passive design with insulated thermal mass • light coloured roof and wall materials
%unshine $oast region Gold $oast region Ipswich .arcaldine .auhinia (%pringsure) . but varies between coastal and inland areas • summer afternoon breezes in coastal areas
Design 7esponses '
Selected :ocal Government Areas
(P ma*or township)
coastal "arm humid summer.
$') and administered through the 'ustralian . slotted eaves with fi ed roof vents) • minimise all east and west glazing. and use ad*ustable shading (eaves) • use passive solar access with high thermal mass. cooling breezes and protection from cold winds • minimise e ternal wall areas. These categories are sub*ect to periodic review.uilding $odes . cool "inter
• four distinct seasons • low diurnal temperature range in coastal areasE high diurnal range inland • mild to cool winter and low humidity • hot to very hot summer with moderate humidity
• include e ternal masonry wall to provide enclosed courtyard. 'ustralian Greenhouse 4ffice. especially east and west • use cross ventilation and passive cooling in summer • use fully openable windows (louvres or casements) to ma imise breezes • provide operable ceiling vents to ma*or habited rooms • ventilate roof spaces (use convective (stack) ventilation. as adopted from #Your Home# $esign for %ifest!le and the &uture ' Technical Manual & (>nd edition). protecting house from hot!dry prevailing winds • shaded outdoor living areas • use garden ponds<water feature for evaporative cooling • northern orientation • ma imise north facing walls and glass. especially living areas • site house for solar access.
.Climate Zone %
Prevailing 1eat!er C!aracteristics
Design 7esponses '
Selected :ocal Government Areas
(P ma*or township)
(note8 climate zone B does not appear in Queensland)
1arm emperate hot humid summer. and bulk and reflective insulation • light coloured roof and wall materials • use heavy drapes with sealed pelmets • use draught seal and entry blocks
Toowoomba 0arwick %tanthorpe Singaroy
otes! current climate zones for local government areas as categorised under the . >==B.oard.uilding $odes of 'ustralia (.
?ld.au<builders<smart@housing<pdf<design@ob*ectives.epa.pdf S$art #ousing Cost+efficiency 'ooklet8 www.au<climate<averages S$art #ousing (esign O)*ectives8 www.act Sheet8 www.htmTgh>> Window Energy Rating Syste$8 www. "our #o$e %echnical &anual8 www.s Glo)al War$ing /redictions8 www.pdf<%ustainable@housing CS-RO.ome Technical 7anual& and<or %mart . renovation<e tensions.gov.housing.au<builders<smart@housing<ce@booklet<inde . easements.housing.greenhouse.
. height levels.au<publications<gh@fa?.?ld.gov. re!configuration.gov.?ld.bom. boundary setbacks.net EcoSpecifier8 www.htm Sustaina)le #ousing . fittings etc.gov.htm 'ureau of &eteorology8 www. and discuss relevant passive design and materials re?uired with a local architect or building designer.au<publications<p=5/H>aa.csiro.dar.au<yourhome<technical<inde .wers.ousing publications. Aor e ample. character re?uirements.$urt!er information It is recommended that you access specific information relevant to your local site and climate for design concepts and costs if you intend to build a new house or renovate<re!fit your e isting home. It is also recommended that you check proposed passive design drawings with relevant local council planning and building provisions or developers covenants in order to satisfy relevant re?uirements for issues such as sub!division. refer to the #Rour .
Glossary 0ightweight Construction %her$al &ass /hotovoltaic 1Solar2 Energy Supply
$lassifications for local government areas are sub*ect to periodic review by the 'ustralian .$' (as at >==/).abcb. Passive design features differ across each of these zones to account for the prevailing climatic conditions. $igure %. 1egulations are also applied at the particular local government level through the .uilding $odes .uilding $ode of 'ustralia.Queensland’s Climate Zones
Queensland contains four climate zones that are depicted in Aigure 5. Aor further information go to8 www.au
.gov.Queensland’s Climate Zones for !ermal Housing Design
Ma( re(roduced "ith ind (ermission of Australian )uilding *odes )oard
-nsert 3'C' 0ogo ote! This map is derived from the current reference map used to apply the .oard and may alter with updated information.
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