The Future of Australian Housing Design

Written by peter@uwcs.com.au

February 16, 2019

The Future of Australian Housing Design

Responding to population growth and climate change

Dr Peter Coombes is speaking about the economic advantages of decentralised water and stormwater management at the Rainwater Harvesting breakfast at 7:30 am on Wednesday 27 February 2019 at the Parramatta Novotel.

Tone Wheeler, Principal of Environa Architects will discuss how architects are, and believe we should be, responding to these challenges. 

Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson will speak about the Parramatta Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2017

The Challenge

Australian cities face escalating challenges of population growth, economic development, decline of ecosystems and climate change. Western Sydney is experiencing these challenges, especially:

  • Increased temperatures due to urban heat island effects. The health impact of this change alone is measured in billions of dollars,
  • Green space in our cities is declining, reducing urban amenity and creating a host of health and environmental costs, and
  • Increased hard surfaces, larger cities and more intensive rain events are creating higher flood risks and increased urban infrastructure costs.

The Questions

How should our housing design and regulation respond to these challenges? What is the leading research on these issues? What is our government doing to respond to these urgent issues? How is architecture and design coping with these challenges and what are the recommendations for the future?

The Discussion

We are interested in these problems because we see the urban environment as part of a connected system needing solutions that work in an integrated way. Rainwater harvesting reduces water demands, provides more urban water for greening, reduces urban temperatures and improves stormwater runoff regimes in an economically efficient manner.

Sydney has successfully managed its water supply over the last two decades, also relying on rainwater harvesting and water efficient appliances to supplement utility water supplies. Sydney is unique in Australia with this approach which is implemented through the BASIX program with performance targets for both water and energy an all new buildings since 2004. Is there an opportunity for a new and revised BASIX to respond to some of these challenges?

download RHA Event Flyer here

 

About
Dr Peter Coombes

Dr Coombes has spent more than 30 years dedicated to the development of systems understanding of the urban, rural and natural water cycles with a view to finding optimum solutions for the sustainable use of ecosystem services, provision of infrastructure and urban planning.

Connect with Peter

Related Articles

Available Storage in Rainwater Tanks – Stormwater Benefits

Available Storage in Rainwater Tanks – Stormwater Benefits

Impact of rainwater tanks on stormwater infrastructure. What is the available storage in rainwater tanks prior to a rain event that is significant to stormwater infrastructure? The use of design storms is current Australian practice for design of stormwater management...

Property Scale Systems Thinking: Full Course

Property Scale Systems Thinking: Full Course

Early bird registration for the Property Scale Systems - Rainwater Harvesting - course by Verge Permaculture and Urban Water Cycle Solutions is open now. Water is a crucial resource increasingly under stress. Yet rainfall, even in arid climates, can make up a sizable...

c