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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > Construction > Sustainability > Sustainable housing laws > Climate zones > 1: Tropical

1: Tropical


The coastal zones north of Mackay including inland areas of Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf of Carpentaria.


This zone is characterised by hot humid summers, warm winters and high summer rainfall.

Average January maximum temperature1


Average July maximum temperature1


Passive design features2

The design’s main aim is to cool the interior of the home all year round. The main passive design features that can be used to achieve this are:

  • northern orientation for living room, with low-use rooms facing west e.g. garages, bathroom and laundry
  • minimise east and west facing walls and windows
  • allow for good ventilation—windows and doorways able to catch breezes
  • ceiling fans and high ceilings
  • wide eaves and awnings to shade the whole house
  • ensure roof space is well-insulated and ventilated e.g. whirlybirds and eave vents
  • insulate walls
  • lighter building materials, such as timber and metal
  • high performance glazing where windows are exposed directly to the sun e.g. low-e or tinted glazing on eastern and western aspects
  • if using air conditioning, ensure room is well-insulated and sealed
  • light coloured roof and walls
  • well-located outdoor living area.

1. Bureau of Metrology - Cairns(site number: 031011).

2. As minimum building standard, the specific performance requirement P1 of the Queensland Development Code 4.1–Sustainable buildings would have to be met for the energy efficiency of the building shell.

Last updated 28 March 2018    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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