Precipitation is a relevant climatic variable for building and urban design in hot climates, because of its potential to naturally mitigate heat excess in buildings and cities by evaporative cooling; and as a primary source of water to artificially reproduce this cooling mechanism, particularly in the humid tropics and subtropics. However, precipitation is commonly neglected in the analysis and development of climate responsive architecture and is rather seen as a cause of problems. This paper proposes a practical graphical method for building designers and planners which facilitates the meaningful “reading” of a climate, to reveal the potential use of precipitation in architecture. This method supplements existing climate analysis tools by defining a scale and benchmarks that easily link potential water requirements of buildings with water availability from precipitation. To complement this method, the concept of Urban Precipitation Surplus is also proposed, a measure of the excess of precipitation that is usually discarded which could be exploited for building cooling and contribute to regenerate the water cycle and improve microclimates in cities. Finally, a brief discussion is given about the analogy between buildings and vegetation, and the importance of enriching architecture with concepts from fields like agriculture and climatology.
Industry misconceptions around high cost and poor market interest in energy efficient homes continue to obstruct the mass adoption of low carbon housing. Josh’s House demonstrates that low carbon housing is accessible and cost effective. The Star Performers series showcases how...Read more
A rapid review on green-rated office buildings, and their operational energy use, found that the conclusions of six studies ranged from the certified buildings performing worse, similarly or much better than the non-certified buildings in terms of energy usage intensity. Two...Read more
In response to feedback, high-income households can reduce their energy use to a larger degree than low-income households (17% vs 3% reduction). This and other insights were gained by two rapid reviews into research, both Australian and International, on digital services and...Read more
Evaporative Cooling (EC) is increasingly regarded as a powerful and effective method for building cooling, mitigation of Urban Heat Islands (UHI) and for urban adaptation to climate change (Kitano et al., 2011; Saneinejad et al., 2014).
Sustainability assessment tools aim to promote high sustainability outcomes in residential buildings, ensuring less consumption of water, energy and less emission of greenhouse gases. However, existing literature often presents variations between the estimated outcomes from the assessment tools and actual outcomes after building occupation.
This book focuses on the challenge that Australia faces in transitioning to renewable energy and regenerating its cities via a transformation of its built environment. It identifies innovative and effective pathways for decarbonising the built environment from applied research undertaken by the Co-Operative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living.
Rainfall is seldom addressed in the analysis of climates for building design, usually neglected for building thermal performance calculations, and there is very little research about its potential cooling effect.