Relationship of thermal performance rating, summer indoor temperatures and cooling energy use in 107 homes in Melbourne, Australia

Willand, N, Ridley, I and Pears, A 2016, 'Relationship of thermal performance rating, summer indoor temperatures and cooling energy use in 107 homes in Melbourne, Australia', Energy and Buildings, vol. 113, pp. 159-168.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Relationship of thermal performance rating, summer indoor temperatures and cooling energy use in 107 homes in Melbourne, Australia
Author(s) Willand, N
Ridley, I
Pears, A
Year 2016
Journal name Energy and Buildings
Volume number 113
Start page 159
End page 168
Total pages 10
Publisher Elsevier Ltd
Abstract Better understanding is needed of building thermal performance as a mediator between climate and health outcomes. There is concern that current dwelling energy conservation strategies that focus on keeping warm in winter may lead to overheating and heat stress in summer or an increased use of cooling energy. Drawing on public health methodologies to predict heat related health outcomes, this study has standardised three-day averaged mean indoor to outdoor temperatures from 107 homes in Melbourne, Australia, to test the influence of the residential energy efficiency rating on the living room temperatures in summer. At the heat wave threshold of 25 °C, on average, better rated 6-Star homes were 0.89 °C warmer than 4- or 5-Star rated homes. At this reference temperature, air-conditioned 6-Star homes used 15.84 kWh/day electric cooling energy more to achieve the same living room temperature as 3-Star rated homes. The findings confirm the results of simulation studies that found increased fabric insulation may be associated with increased summer indoor temperatures, risk of heat stress and cooling energy in a mild temperate climate. Hence, it is recommended that residential thermal performance ratings should evaluate the dwelling's performance for each season independently and that cooling through natural ventilation and shading be promoted.
Subject Engineering not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Air conditioning
Australia
Cooling energy
Health
Heatwave
Houses
Summer
Thermal performance
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.enbuild.2015.12.032
Copyright notice © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
ISSN 0378-7788
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