Drivers and barriers to heatwave-resilient building retrofitting in the Australian context

  • YEAR
    Hatvani-Kovacs, Gertrud
    Belusko, Martin
    Pockets, John
    Boland, John
    2015 Conference Papers
    Architecture and Environment
    Conference Papers


Heatwaves have a mounted interest in the last decade due to their negative impacts on
infrastructure, the ecosystem and public health. Population exposure to heat stress is substantially influenced by the resilience of the built environment as people spend the majority of their time indoors. Retrofitting the existing building stock could profoundly improve heatwave resilience, however, the current knowledge of the population’s heatwave-resilient retrofitting willingness is limited. An online survey about population perception of, adaptation to and retrofitting against heatwaves was conducted with a representative sample from the Adelaide metropolitan region in March 2015. The survey results about the retrofitting relevant questions presented in this paper suggest that the perceived financial limitations and missing tenant/landlord incentives represent the key barriers to domestic retrofitting. Beyond air-conditioning, the improvement of shadings was the most prevalent retrofitting measure. The number of known and applied retrofitting measures, nevertheless, were limited. Solutions, such as taking advantage of increased garden vegetation or changing the roof colour were underrepresented. Special attention should be paid to older population since they are not only more vulnerable to heatwaves but also less willing to retrofit their homes.


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