Appropriateness of BCA energy efficiency requirements in medium density housing of small floor area

  • YEAR
    Karol, Elizabeth
    2004 Conference Papers
    Architecture and the environment


ABSTRACT: Australia’s national building regulations, the Building Code of Australia (BCA 2004), have
recently included provisions for energy efficiency in housing. These provisions stipulate limitations on
the areas of glazing depending on the geographic location of a building and the orientation of the
glazing. However when considering climatically sensitive design, rather than only efficient use of energy
for artificial heating and cooling, the BCA provisions related to glazing appear to be unsatisfactory for
small buildings.

Using the modelling tool NatHERS (Nationwide House Energy Rating Software) to establish indoor
temperatures in a typical two bedroom medium density dwelling in a temperate climate (Climate Zone
5), it was shown that, particularly in housing for seniors, the desirable area of glazing for climatically
sensitive design and for liveability should be substantially less than the maximum permitted by the BCA
for Climate Zone 5. Results of a doctoral thesis by the author suggest that, in housing for seniors,
significant reductions in domestic energy use for cooling and heating occurs when total area of glazing
is approximately 20% of floor area and when passive heating can occur through both direct and indirect
solar gain.


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