The design of three thermal performance test cells in Launceston

  • YEAR
    Dewsbury, Mark
    Fay, Roger
    Nolan, Gregory
    Vale, Robert
    2007 Conference Papers
    Indicators of sustainable development: space, energy, water, waste


Abstract: The increase in energy efficiency measures for residential construction in the Building Code of
Australia has led to a shift from timber platform to slab on ground housing. Both industry and government have
recognised the need to validate AccuRate’s thermal simulation modelling of platform floored housing. The
University of Tasmania in collaboration with the Wood & Forest Products Research Development Corporation
and the Australian Greenhouse Office is undertaking research to validate empirically AccuRate in cool
temperate climates. This is an ongoing project involving the construction and monitoring of thermal
performance test cells and developer designed and constructed houses.

There is an acknowledged shortage of appropriate data on platform floor housing to validate AccuRate. The
problem facing platform floors is the perceived thermal limitations in cool temperate climates of Australia. In
these regions the need for appropriate solutions of sub floor insulation is becoming urgent. The university has
designed and constructed three thermal performance test cells on its Launceston Campus. Launceston has a
wide diurnal temperature range in winter, which can assist in the close analysis of building fabric performance.
The three thermal performance test cells include an un-enclosed perimeter platform floor, an enclosed
perimeter platform floor and a concrete slab on ground floor. The test cells have been designed to allow for
future fabric changes to floors, walls, windows and roofing. The platform floored test cells have allowed for the
inclusion and modification of sub floor insulation. The designs examined international and national past


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