Housing and Melbourne weather
Russell Degnan

What Melbourne really needs is the odd week or two of sub-zero temperatures. Not many days; they cause a complete shift in the manner you interact with the outside world. Just a few. Enough to make it clear that the way we build houses in large parts of Australia is actually a disgrace.

Right now, where I am in Sweden, it is 24.3 degrees inside, and -11.4 outside. The house is light and airy, the temperature is constant throughout. The difference no drafts, insulation, double glazing and water heaters running slowly but steadily is remarkable.

Except in exceptional circumstances, you shouldn't need to heat homes in Melbourne. The heat from appliances (especially computers) and the fact that it is normally warm enough on even the coldest days to get some warmth should allow them to maintain a near constant temperature. Similarly, summer days are never so hot that you should need an air-conditioner.

However, because we can get away with shoddy contruction and cheap materials, we do, and we suffer for that in the quality of the indoor environment we live in. As nice as laying in a chair wrapped in a doona, listening to rain land on a tin roof. It is not that nice.

Sterner Matters 25th November, 2004 03:13:38   [#] 

Comments

European Homes
European homes are wonderful (cosy, warm and often full of old furniture that has been passed down through the family or thrown out of mansions/castles). I'd like to live in a European style house (full of clutter, books, lamps and nice things that remind me of people I like).
BridgeGirl  25th November, 2004 09:43:09  

Not so sure
I totally agree with you Russell about the style of European homes. They are definitely designed better with better materials that reduce the need for heating and energy consumption. I tend to disagree on a couple of points though. Heating is, and will always be needed in Melbourne homes, not only just in exceptional circumstances. It just needs to be a better form of heating such as the water heating you suggested where maybe less heat will be needed. I don't think we should try and limit peoples wishes to heat though. The other point is the comment about how appliances heat (computers). I personally, and I don't think most people (exceptions ofcourse), leave their PC going all the time for it to create enough heat. For that reason, heating from appliances will never suffice for me when I need to defrost my cold toes when I come in from the cold.
Anthony from Toronto  18th December, 2004 06:11:40