Extreme heat is hardly uncommon in Australia. However, this does not mean that local residents have come to accept their sad fate. Human comfort is, after all, a vital and important need and will always be sought no matter what. Towards this end, various urban home designs have been introduced with a view to helping Australians cope effectively with such weather conditions as extreme heat.
The distinctive Australian climate that has come to characterize the continent is most especially felt in urban areas. This should be understandable given the preference of many local residents to settle in and around the area where they can have easy access to shops, jobs, and shelter, among other things.
Unfortunately, this preference has led to the deterioration of the urban climatic setting. As such, urban heat has become less and less bearable over the last few years. For this reason, it is not uncommon to find many Australians looking for ways on how to cope with an increasingly intolerable city heat.
This is where the concept of urban home designs acquires greater importance. Through these designs, it is expected that more Australian homes can eventually learn to cope with extreme heat. More importantly, they can help preserve the health of local residents especially the elderly and those who are sick.
Making use of urban home designs can mean taking the extra step to consider a few more home construction materials. For example, in areas where ground temperatures during the summer months can easily reach 19 degrees, flooring for the home should be constructed with concrete slabs that are adequately insulated.
An alternative to this is an elevated but lightweight and insulated flooring constructed alongside mass walls with high thermal settings. On the other hand, for ground temperatures that peak a little lower than 19 degrees when summer comes around, earth slabs should prove to be effective flooring materials. With today’s technology it’s possible to make these slabs from recycled building materials too!
For the roof, the common recommendation is to settle for materials bearing colours with significantly lighter shades. They offer an effective contrast to the prevailing heat especially during summer. More importantly, lightly coloured roofs help promote coolness within the atmosphere.
Glazed windows, meanwhile, can make any home more attractive, but many experts in urban home designs believe that these should not be overused. Ideally, if glazing has to be considered as a window design, those with low U-value should be used.
Windows with low U-values have been found to resist heat flow more efficiently while offering better insulation at the same time. This should prove to be significant during summer when solar heat can be at its most extreme.
Additionally, urban home design experts have come to identify three distinct approaches when it comes to constructing the standard Australian home. These include the free running, the conditioned, and the hybrid approaches. The first involves a home where air movement is abundant as produced by fans as well as ventilation.
Conditioned buildings, meanwhile, require good insulation with the air conditioning system airtight especially when this is turned on. The hybrid urban home designs, on the other hand, are those where the rooms are fully insulated and conditioned while being surrounded by generally free and running areas at the same time. If you live in an area that tends to get the afternoon breeze then capitalize on it! Open plan living designs are a dime a dozen in Queensland so if you’re looking towards this option, perhaps reaching out to some Queensland based architects and building companies will be helpful.