This guide offers practical advice to homeowners, builders and designers embarking on a retrofit of an existing home. It focuses on relatively simple adaptations to improve a home’s comfort, while reducing energy bills and carbon emissions.
The implementation of ‘cool’ roofing materials, with high solar reflectance and infrared emittance, has received significant attention in recent years, as a method to mitigate the urban heat island effect and reduce building cooling energy requirements. The effect of ‘cool’ roofs on heat transfer through the roof structure has been investigated by many researchers.
The purpose of this briefing paper is to explore the context and challenges that exist in providing low carbon homes for households on low incomes, and to draw attention to the key issues for practitioners working in the field.
The buildings sector is responsible for approximately 23% of Australia’s carbon emissions. The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC), the peak body for sustainability in the built environment, has identified that improving the minimum standards for energy efficiency of new buildings can assist in delivering carbon emissions reductions.
Cool roof technology is known to reduce the cooling energy consumption of conditioned buildings during hot periods, and widespread implementation of such roofs in a neighbourhood or precinct can mitigate the urban heat island effect.