Analysis of the design-construction supply chain in the thermal performance of sub-tropical and tropical housing

Miller, Wendy F. (2013) Analysis of the design-construction supply chain in the thermal performance of sub-tropical and tropical housing. In Kajewski, Stephen L., Manley, Karen, & Hampson, Keith D. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 19th CIB World Building Congress, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, QLD.

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Background: In sub-tropical and tropical Queensland, a legacy of poor housing design,minimal building regulations with few compliance measures, an absence of post-construction performance evaluation and various social and market factors has led to a high and growing penetration of, and reliance on, air conditioners to provide thermal comfort for occupants. The pervasive reliance on air conditioners has arguably impacted on building forms, changed cultural expectations of comfort and social practices for achieving comfort, and may have resulted in a loss of skills in designing and constructing high performance building envelopes.

Aim: The aim of this paper is to report on initial outcomes of a project that sought to determine how the predicted building thermal performance of twenty-five houses in subtropical and tropical Queensland compared with objective performance measures and comfort performance as perceived by occupants. The purpose of the project was to shed light on the role of various supply chain agents in the realisation of thermal performance outcomes.

Methodology: The case study methodology embraced a socio-technical approach incorporating building science and sociology. Building simulation was used to model thermal performance under controlled comfort assumptions and adaptive comfort conditions. Actual indoor climate conditions were measured by temperature and relative humidity sensors placed throughout each house, whilst occupants’ expectations of thermal comfort and their self-reported behaviours were gathered through semi-structured interviews and periodic comfort surveys. Thermal imaging and air infiltration tests, along with building design documents, were analysed to evaluate the influence of various supply chain agents on the actual performance outcomes.

Results: The results clearly show that in the housing supply chain – from designer to constructor to occupant – there is limited understanding from each agent of their role in contributing to, or inhibiting, occupants’ comfort.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 61998
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: building simulation, housing, post-occupancy evaluation, sub-tropical and tropical climates, thermal comfort
ISBN: 9780987554215
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > BUILDING (120200) > Building Science and Techniques (120202)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Wendy Miller
Deposited On: 22 Aug 2013 23:10
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2013 20:47

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