House Retrofits and Comfort Measures to Reduce Heat Stress and Carbon in a Warmer Future

  • YEAR
    Shiel, John
    Moghtaderi, Behdad
    Aynsley, R.M.
    Page, Adrian
    2017 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers


Australia has one of the highest carbon emissions per person for buildings in the world. Recordbreaking summer temperatures were experienced in 2017. So there is an urgent need for designers to reduce carbon emissions and temperatures to ensure the health and comfort of occupants in existing
buildings. This paper reports on research on climate change modelling, thermal simulations of retrofits for the main three representative Australian house types as well as for a ‘cool retreat’, and an alternative comfort approach. The results indicate that the most cost‐effective single carbon reducing retrofits are partial house air conditioning, ceiling insulation, external wall cavity insulation, and an optimal level of sealing the house. Then they depend on the type of house e.g. insulation under timber‐floored houses and an internal brick wall for concrete‐floored houses. The most cost‐optimal carbon savings of combinations of retrofits across all house types were those with do‐it‐yourself (DIY) simple payback periods of between 5 and 8 years. Measures to reduce heat stress and cooling energy include bulk ceiling and roof insulation with added roof foil, external wall cavity insulation, a parasol roof and ceiling fans as well as occupants adopting a Standard Effective Temperature (SET*) comfort approach.


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