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Housing in the Tropics

As a general rule, the design of housing in tropical Australia is often unsuitable for the place in which we live and the time in which we live.

If you drive around the newer residential areas of Cairns, for example, you will notice that many houses have roofs that are often dark in colour and these roofs are sometimes full of items that, although necessary in today's society, clutter up the look of many of the houses. The guttering of these buildings has no slope for the rainwater to flow quickly and, to add insult to injury, many of these houses are wrapped all around with the ubiquitous aluminium sliding window, hidden behind security screens.

Below is a discussion of the various issues involved in housing for tropical Australia such as the placement of photovoltaic panels, window function, ventilation, and house design - especially the shape of the roof.

Note that at the end of each section there is a link to the next section.

1..The sun path and PV arrays

2..Manual elevation of PV arrays

3..Tracking or a fixed setting for the array?

4..Does the PV have to go on the roof?

5..The roof & house design

6..Window design

7..Hot water systems

(Click these links to get to the A1 posters: A1 Poster A A1 Poster B)

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