Climate Assignment
Ecologically and climatically appropriate building design.
Most traditional construction around the world is well-adapted to its environment and generally makes use of ecologically appropriate building materials and forms. Before mechanical space heating and cooling were available, traditional settlements developed a natural harmony with their climate and had as a consequence,a minimal carbon footprint. With global warming, we are returning to ecologically sustainable and climatically appropriate building designs. Particularly in this assignment,we will be looking at building designs, in climatically diverse locations acrossAustralia and our near neighbours, investigating appropriate solutions for that location from elsewhere in the world that will have a minimum carbon footprint. You will be focusing on traditional solutions (say prior to 1900’s) from around the world, in similar climatic locations; to derive possiblesolutions for the location you will be assigned.
As a group of 5 (minimum) or7 (maximum) students, youwill be allocated a location and your group is to become familiar with its peculiar climatic constraints. You are then to investigate other locations around the world in similar climates and discover the type of traditional building that developed to solve their particular needs for warmth (or cooling) and shelter.The list at the end of this handout has locations from around our region which are climatically diverse.When you have formed your groups a location will be allocated. Please form groups early in the semester.
You must research the following topics to determine their influence on building design for your location:
1. The characteristics of the climate.
i. Average maximum summer and minimum winter temperatures.
ii. Diurnal temperature range both in summer and winter.
iii. Humidity levels in summer and winter.
iv. Solar characteristics (sun path and intensity of solar radiation).
v. Atmospheric conditions (dust, cloudiness, precipitation e.g. mist & rain).
vi. Incidence and extent of snow, if applicable.
vii. Evaporation rates, rainfall intensities, flooding, fire and any other extremes of climatic conditions encountered at your location.
viii. Remember to consider the use of vegetation to control the extremes of the climatic conditions, if at all possible.
2. Lighting needs of the building
i. Glare problems; snow or bare ground.
ii. Natural and artificial methods of lighting.
iii. Lighting control throughout the day.
3. Acoustic background of the building
i. External noise levels
ii. Internal noise levels
The locations chosen have some degree ofdiscomfort in their climate in either summer or winter conditions.It might be the hottest day recorded or length of hot days or the highest evaporation rate. Or it could be thelowest or highestrainfall recorded with associated extremes of flooding or the highest altitude with resultant snow loads. Your group is to overcome these extremities and make your building solution an ecologically sustainable solution using ideas developed from traditional methods sourced from overseas. We are primarily focusing on characteristics of the environment and climate that impinge on building design and deriving solutions that would be acceptable to our culture in Australia. You can use modern building methods or materials to construct your building designs, but the focus is traditional solutions. You can use solar panels to generate both electrical & hot water, but again the focus is traditional solutions. The keywords are ecologically sound solutions that are climatically appropriate to the area you are assigned.
Common problems
• You are to discovercountries that have similar climatic zones, and determine from your research the type of traditional building, that might have appropriate lessons for your allocated area. You must NOT include a general discussion of the cultural, geographic or political background of the country, unless it relates to the design of buildings. Marks will be deducted for padding.
• Structural concerns, from snow, floods, earthquake& hurricanes should only be discussed if they affect the lighting, acoustic or thermal characteristics of the building.
• You must include a Table of Contents, Conclusion and Reference list(Harvard method); overall it must be a professional report.See the Learning Guide for more details.
Assessment (20% of final mark for the unit)
Demonstrate how the environmental factors influence the design of traditional buildings in your similar region and howthese principlescan be applied and implemented tobuildings at your location in Australia. This will be done through:
1. A 25 minute maximumverbal presentation(say 15 minute talk {i.e. app. 3 minutes each} and 5 minutes questions to the whole group). The presentation must be accompanied by PowerPoint slides (or similar).
2. A written submission; The length of the report is not critical but there should be input from all members of the groupand heat, light and sound should be covered.. Diagrams and photographs are encouraged and should be referenced separately. This is a guide only. You may write a longer or shorter report if you want to do so. It is the quality of what is written that counts.
3. List of Locations: These will be allocated once you form your group
Avoca TAS Marree SA
Barrow Creek NT Mataranaka NT
Birdsville QLD Meekatharra WA
Bothwell TAS Menindee NSW
Ceduna SA Miena TAS
Cobar NSW Moree NSW
Coober Pedy SA Peak Hill WA
Cromwell NZ Pedirka SA
Curie TAS Port Arthur TAS
Daly Waters NT Queenstown NZ
Derby WA Red Cliffs VIC
Emerald QLD Renner Springs NT
Halls Creek WA Robinvale VIC
Hopetoun VIC Rosebery TAS
Innisfail QLD Rotorua NZ
Invercargill NZ Taupo NZ
Karumba QLD Tumbarumba NSW
Laverton WA Wangaratta VIC
Mackay QLD Wilpena SA
Maningrida NT Windorah QLD

4. Value of the Assignment, including PowerPoint & live presentation: 20%
Submission Date: At time of presentation either week 13 or 14, as scheduled later in the semester