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The Unintended Consequence of Building Sustainably in Australia

Law, T ORCID: 0000-0001-9341-6977 and Dewsbury, M ORCID: 0000-0002-3607-3637 2018 , 'The Unintended Consequence of Building Sustainably in Australia', in WL Filho and J Rogers and U Iyer-Raniga (eds.), Sustainable Development Research in the Asia-Pacific Region: Education, Cities, Infrastructure and Buildings , Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, pp. 525-547.

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Abstract

What makes a sustainable house? One might suggest it should be energy-efficient,resilient to climate change and still comfortable. Indeed in Australia, we see aspects ofthese three priorities being exercised: energy-efficiency standards being introducedinto residential requirements of the National Construction Code in 2003, bushfirerequirements expressed as a national standard in 2009, and the constant demand formore efficient and round-the-clock climate control. All these actions relate toSustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Climate Action. One might assume thatthese trends mark progress for both the environment and the home owners. Howeverthere is a dark side to the story, because in the very effort of reducing greenhouse gasemissions (also one of the functional objective of the national construction code), theconstruction industry has inadvertently implemented practices that have led toentrapment of moisture in buildings, thus compromising their habitability. Using datafrom Tasmania, this chapter shows how common mistakes in building science, designand construction have led to a widespread increase of condensation in buildingslocated in cool climates. Condensation has further led to other problems with mouldand health (SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being), making new code-compliant housespotentially uninhabitable after experiencing their first winter. These challenges needto be in the wider discussion of architecture, construction, indoor microbiology andpublic health when sustainable housing standards are being promoted.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Law, T and Dewsbury, M
Keywords: condensation, mould, human health, simulation, energy efficiency, Australia, building code, bushfire, legislation
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/978-3-319-73293-0_31
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Springer International Publishing AG

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