All living things depend on water to survive. It is an essential and scarce resource, but one that too few people use responsibly. Australians live on the driest inhabited continent on earth, yet are the greatest consumers of water worldwide . In 2002, the national average water use in a four-person household was 1250-1400 L a day — equivalent to 250 to 280 buckets of water consumed per household per day and this is predicted to increase.
The Queensland Government’s Towards Healthy and Sustainable Housing Research Project in Rockhampton is demonstrating and testing ways that water is being conserved in Research House.
The attached list of references will provide further information on water conservation:
Research House Annual Water Use Study: December 2002–November 2003
Energy Efficient Appliances
Good Residential Design Guide Your Home–Water Use Introduction
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
Australian Bureau of Statistics Environment Rivers: Inland waters and groundwater
Australian Standards AS/NZS6400: 2003, Water Efficient Products — Ratings and Labelling
— Average Household Water Usage
Water Usage Patterns
Water Cost Estimates
Central Queensland University Faculty of Engineering and Physical Systems, Research House
Bosch Australia Gas Hot Water
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems Australian Water Use Statistics Report on Australian Water Futures
Con-Serv Flow Restrictions Devices and Water Saving Shower Heads
Department of Environment and Heritage Domestic Water Consumption
Department of Housing Research House
Department of Housing Smart Housing
Dr Peterson, L. E. June 2003, Hot Water Systems Report, Queensland Department of Public Works, Building Division, pp. 1–18.
Department of Public Works, Research House Virtual Tour http://www.build.qld.gov.au/research/research08.asp
Electrolux Australia Whitegoods Products
Natural Resources and Mines International Year of Fresh Water — Domestic Consumption
Quantum Energy Technologies Energy Efficient Hot Water
Rocky Mountain Institute Water
Rocky Mountain Institute Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Water Efficiency
Save Water Water Conservation — Why Save Water?
Sustainable Energy Authority Victoria Energy Smart Housing Manual
Water Services Association of Australia The National Water Conservation Rating and Labelling Scheme
Widt J. Aitken K. Artemieff P. October 1999, Water Utilities Queensland Report 1997/98, Department of Natural Resources, pp. 1–56.
Zip Industries Australia Hydroboil
Carbon dioxide is the principal component of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that significantly contributes to ‘global warming’ (AGO 1998). The energy used in Australian households is one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide (CO 2), from the combustion of fossil (hydrocarbon) fuels (ABS 2001). The average Australian household is responsible for the generation of approximately 8 tonnes (about 3077 kg per person) of carbon dioxide each year (equivalent to the weight of five average sized family cars) (AGO 2004b).
Energy drives our modern industrial economy and currently Queensland’s electricity generation sector is dominated by non-renewable coal-fired power stations, although gas will be used increasingly in the future (EPA 2004d). Fossil fuel-driven power stations have a major impact on our air quality through emissions of the three key greenhouse gases (GHG), carbon dioxide (CO 2), methane (CH 4) and nitrous oxides (NOx) (DEH 2002).
Around one-fifth of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions (105 million tonnes annually) come from households, a figure that could be significantly reduced by improving the energy efficiency of homes and appliances (Queensland Treasury [Office of Energy] 2004).
Green (environmentally friendly) and sustainable energy sources are essential contributors to the abatement of GHG emissions and although some sources are now competitive (e.g. wind turbines) most will not become more competitive and readily available to the wider community until 2020 (NREL 2002b).
It is vital to encourage a greater awareness to conserve our non-renewable energy resources and encourage consumers to choose more energy efficient appliances and conserve energy in the day-to-day operation of their home. These initiatives will help to stem the rise in national energy demands.
The following references will provide further information relating to energy:
Research House Annual Energy Study Report, December 2002–November 2003
Alternative Technology Association 2003, Queensland Greenhouse Strategy Issues, pp.1–13
Anderson, T.N. Morrison, G.L. Behnia, M. 2003, An Experimental Evaluation of an Air Sourced and a Solar Boosted Heat Pump Water Heater, University of NSW, School of Mechanical & Manufacturing. Available from: Heat Pump Hot Water Heater
Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), 2003, Building Code of Australia Class 1 and Class 10 Buildings Housing Provisions, Vol. 2, CanPrint Communications Pty Ltd, Canberra
Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARE) 2004, Australian Energy National and State Projections to 2019–20 http://www.abareconomics.com/pages/products/products.htm
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) AusStats. 2001, Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounts, Australia
Australian Environment and Heritage (DEH). 2002, State of the Environment Australia Report 2002
Australian Greenhouse Office
Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO). 2002, Appliance Electricity End-Use: Weather and Climate Sensitivity Report, A project for the Australian Greenhouse Office, Canberra, Australia, p. 69.
Appliance Energy Label
Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO). Appliance Technologies and Scope for Emission Reduction: Hot Water
Australian Government Interdepartmental Projections Group 2003, Stationary Energy Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions Project 2003 http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/projections/pubs/stationaryenergy2003.pdf
Buildings, Appliances, Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Energy Rating — Publications: General, Australian Residential Building Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 1990-2010, Final Report
Energy Rating — The Energy Label
Global Warming: Cool it!
Renewable Energy Commercialisation in Australia
Solar Photovoltaic and Mandatory Renewable Energy Target
What is Renewable Energy?
Your Home: Designing Your Home — Using Passive Design
Your Home: Energy Use Introduction
Energy Use in Your Home
Your Home Chapter 4.5: Lighting
Your Home Energy Manual — Lighting
Australian Institute of Energy (AIE) Energy Value and Greenhouse Emission Factor of Selected Fuels
Greenhouse Emission Factor of Selected Fuels
Bosch Australia, Hot Water
BP Solar. Products and Services
Central Queensland University, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Systems Research House
Choice Electric Co. 2004
Cole, G. 2004, Solar Hot Water, Australian Council of Building Design Professions Ltd (BDF), Environment Design Guide, Royal Australian Institute of Architects.
Country Energy, Guide to Appliance Energy Usage
Electrolux Australia. Our Products
Energex. Environment: Home Solar Energy
Home Solar Energy
Energy Partners. Solar Hot Water Systems Study
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Photovoltaic Rebate Program 2004
Solar Photovoltaic Government Subsidy Rebate Program
Renewable Energy Certificates
Renewable Energy Certificates and Rebates
Solar Hot Water Rebate Scheme
Solar Hot Water Renewable Energy Rebates
State of the Environment Queensland Report, pp. 2–13, Towards Sustainability — Queensland Today, Brisbane
Ergon Energy, 2004, Electricity Prices
Domestic Tariff - Electricity Prices
European Commission. (2004). Market Barriers
Green Power, 2004, Frequently Asked Questions
— How Much CO 2 Emissions Will Green Power Save in the Average Home?
Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, 1987, IES Lighting Handbook — Lighting Design, Application Volume, New York
Lund, C. Wilmot, N. 2003, Murdoch University, Perth, Solar Array Efficiency, RAPS Solar Array Efficiency
McLennan Magasanik Associates 2002, Social, Economic and Environmental Implications of Proposed Energy Efficiency Amendments to BCC’s City Plan House Code, South Brisbane, pp.5
Morrison, G.L. Anderson, T. Behnia, M. 2001, Seasonal Performance Rating of Heat Pump Water Heaters, pp.1–6, University of New South Wales, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Sydney, ISES Solar World Congress
Morrison, G. L. 2003, Heat Pump Water Heaters, University of NSW, School of Mechanical & Manufacturing
Heat Pump Hot Water System
Morrison, G. L. Tran, H. N. 1992, Energy Rating of Domestic Water Heaters, University of NSW, School of Mechanical & Manufacturing
Energy Rating of Domestic Hot Water Systems
Morrison, G. L. Wood, B. D. 1997, TRNSYS Extensions (TRNAUS), Packaged Solar Water Heating Technology Twenty Years of Progress, University of New South Wales, School of Mechanical & Manufacturing, Journal of Solar Energy V53, pp. 249–257
Packaged Solar Hot Water System Technology Twenty Years of Progress
National Renewable Energy Laboratory USA (NREL) 2002a, Clean Energy Basics
National Renewable Energy Laboratory USA (NREL) 2002b, Renewable Energy Cost Trends
Office of Economic & Statistical Research (OESR) 2004, Information Brief Regional Population Growth
Quantum Energy Limited
Quantum Hot Water
Typical Performance Quantum Heat Pump
Queensland Conservatorium Council: Hot Tips for Cool Solutions
Queensland Department of Housing
Queensland Department of Public Works, Building Division, Sustainable Technology and Development
Queensland Government Building Division Research
Queensland Treasury (Office of Energy) 2004, Domestic Consumers: Sustainability and Money Saving Ideas
Riedy C. 2003, Subsidies that Encourage Fossil Fuel Use in Australia; Working Paper (CR2003/01), Institute of Sustainable Futures
Skydome: Skylight Products
Solar Hot Water Heaters
The Thermosiphon Principle
Stanwell Corporation: Generating Sites
Sustainable Building Source Book: Energy
Sustainable Energy Authority of Victoria
Benefits of Energy Smart Housing
SEAV - Housing Manual Chapter 1
Energy Smart Housing Manual, Chapter 9
Services, Lighting and Appliances
Sustainable Energy Development Authority, NSW
Choosing and Operating a Hot Water System, pp. 1–8
Smart Energy Hot Water
SEDA Energy Smart Hot Water
Szokolay S. V. 2004a, Introduction to Architectural Science: The Basis of Sustainable Design, pp. 205–212, Architectural Press, Oxford London.
Szokolay S. V. 2004b, Introduction to Architectural Science: The Basis of Sustainable Design, pp. 314–315, Architectural Press, Oxford London.
University of NSW. Solar Cells
Woods W. D. 2004, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Handbook for interactive Qualifying project (IQP) Advisors and Students
Zip Heaters (Aust) Pty Ltd. Zip Hydro Tap
Australian and New Zealand Standards
AS1680.1: 1990 — Interior Lighting, Part 1: General principles and recommendations
AS1680.2.1: 1993 — Interior Lighting, Part 2.1: Circulation spaces and other general areas
AS/NZS 2007.1:2003 — Performance of household electrical appliances: Dishwashers, Part 1: Energy consumption and performance standard requirements
AS/NZS 2040.1:1998 — Performance of household electrical appliances: Clothes washing machines, Part 1: Energy consumption and performance standard requirements
AS/NZS 2535.1:1999 — Test Methods for Solar Collectors: Thermal Performance of Glazed Liquid Heating Collectors Including Pressure Drop
AS/NZS 3598: 2000 — Energy Audits
AS 4234- 1994 Solar Water Heaters — Domestic and Heat Pump: Calculation of Energy Consumption
AS/NZS 4445.1:1997 Solar Heating — Domestic Water Heating System: Performance Rating Procedure using indoor test method
AS/NZS 4474.2–2001 — Performance of household electrical appliances: Clothes washing machines, Part: Energy labelling and minimum energy performance standard requirements
AS/NZS 4474.2–2001 — Performance of household electrical appliances: Dishwasher, Part 2: Energy labelling and minimum energy performance standard requirements
AS/NZS 4474.1–1997 — Performance of household electrical appliances: Refrigerating appliances, Part 1: Energy consumption and performance
AS/NZS 4474.2–2001 — Performance of household electrical appliances: Refrigerating appliances, Part 2: Energy labelling and minimum energy performance standard requirements
A Smart House is more socially sustainable in the following ways:
Safety is about preventing injuries in and around the home.
Features such as reduced-slip flooring, a lockable cabinet for storing poisons and medicine, and ensuring that the kitchen is not also a passageway can improve safety in the home.
Security is about using design and fixtures or fittings to reduce crime.
Security screens on doors and windows, adequate lighting of all doors that open to the outside, and being able to see unwelcome intruders from inside the home will improve security.
A universally designed home is flexible and comfortable for people with varying abilities and at different stages in their lives.
Wide hallways and doorways, level entries to the house and main living areas, and at least one bathroom/toilet and one bedroom accessible for a person with restricted mobility are some of the features of a universally designed home.
Social Impact Study
— Conference paper, 2004, Centre for Social Change Research, Queensland University of Technology
Buys, L. Bailey, C. Barnett, K. How easy is it being 'green' in sustainable housing? Residents’ experiences with smart housing design
Research & Technology — Research House Library
Ergonomic Assessment of Lightweight Building Blocks
Characterisation of aerosols in the ambient air of fly ash brick factory
Case Study for Australian Greenhouse Office (S.V. Szokolay, 2004)
Ask the Green Question booklet
Subdivisional Design Guidelines
— Towards A More Sustainable Subdivision (Qld DPW 2003)
Research House Decision Making Process
— products and materials and Design Decision Making document
The environment offers designers of buildings significant challenges in designing houses that respond to the local climatic conditions.
Understanding the performance of the various components that work together to make up the complete roof and wall covering system of a house is a critical factor in designing a house that responds effectively and efficiently to the heat and cold encountered in the Australian climate.
The following references provide further information on this subject:
Research House Annual Temperature Study Report, December 2002–November 2003:
Australian Building Codes Board 1996, The Building Code of Australian (BCA96), Energy Efficiency Measures in the Building Code of Australia
Energy Efficiency Measures BCA Vol. 2, (Housing Provisions), Energy Topic, Energy Efficiency Measures in the Building Code of Australia, Energy Efficiency Measures Regulation Document (RD) & Regulation Impact Statement (RIS)
Australian Building Codes Board 2002
Windows August 2002 Newsletter
Australian Window Association
Colorbond Steel for Roofing
BlueScope Steel Limited (BHP Steel Limited)
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Systems, Research House
Central Queensland University
Daily Solar Radiation
Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology
Weather in Rockhampton
Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology
Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology
CSR Bradford Insulation
Bradford Gold Batts
CSR Bradford Insulation
Department of Housing
Research House Flyer’
Department of Housing
Fly Ash Recycle Waste By-Product Material, Adding Value to Waste Products
Stanwell Corporation Limited (SCL)
Szokolay, S. V. 2003, Introduction to Architectural Science – The Basis of Sustainable Design, Architectural Press, UK.
Thermal Heat Flow
Thermodynamics Search Engine
Weather for Rockhampton