We are back after vacations, energised and excited. Here’s this week’s progress.
This week, we concentrated on the BDAV 10 stars design competition. The highest rating on firstrate5 is 9.2 stars so far. We hope the rating can be 10 stars at the end of next week. Also, I have learnt a new software called BESS. BESS is a software used for analysing the sustainability of building projects. It is also good to use in future studies. Basically, this week each of us focused on different tasks assigned to us. I have been mainly doing ratings for town planning on firstrate5 and preparing the BESS report, and got more than 6 stars for all the dwellings in the town house complex. Therefore, the cooling and heating data can be used to generate a BESS report. The BESS report is due today, so that we can focus on design competition next week.
This week has been busy, heavily focused on the design competition as well as learning how to use BESS to create an ESD report in the town planning stage of design. Our Design has changed dramatically! The break over the holidays gave us fresh eyes and time to do more research. Firstly, our design has dropped to a single story from a double story because it was a lot simpler to achieve a high rating with only one level. Secondly, instead of designing for inner city Melbourne we have decided to go rural and the postcode of our design is now 2280, Broken Hill, NSW. This decision was made to give us more freedom in testing new innovative, sustainability ideas, which would be difficult in the inner city. We have been playing a lot with heavy thermal mass in our design and Broken Hill’s climate is a perfect candidate for this. We have also scaled back the size of the indoor space of our dwelling to 141 square meters, which is well below the current Australia average of 227 square meters. We have been carefully thinking about our window placement and are reducing the openings of our dwellings to reduce heat loss in winter and reduce heat gain in summer. Currently we are testing a design that has a partial artificially built Earth Berm that extends over part of our roof to stabilise the indoor temperature. Also, a part of the design is an upcycled shipping container for the master bedroom suite, which increases the recycled material used for construction, hence decreasing waste.
We started with a fresh mind and more creative ideas (thanks to the break) for our design competition, taking the rating of our house design from 7.8 to 9.2. We learnt a lot more about passive designing techniques along with FirstRate5, which helped in achieving higher ratings. We are still working on its design and enhancing its other features, to make it the best performing sustainable design. Also, a new software, BESS (for town planning) was introduced to us. It is Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard, which assesses the sustainability performance of a building or alteration based on various parameters like IEQ, energy and water efficiency. After doing the assessment, we were given to make a professional report on it. That’s it for now, we’ll be back next week with our improved designs and other learnings!! PS - Note none of the above projects are for external clients, they are internal exercises only.
Shipping container on the left, green roof in the middle and an earth berm on the right.