RED Sustainability is participating in a trial of the successful Victorian Residential Scorecard home energy assessments tool as part of a pilot program in Tasmania. The trial aims to assess the suitability of this tool in the Tasmanian context. We are looking to recruit homes in the greater Hobart region to express interest and register.
The Scorecard provides an energy star rating for your home on a scale of 1 to 10. Just like the star ratings you see on fridges, washing machines and TV’s, a high rating home means you use less energy, and therefore spend less running your home compared to a home that has a lower star rating. The assessment will also provide information on how to improve the energy performance of your home..
This is your opportunity to find out how your home rates compared to similar houses, as well as receiving information on how to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
This is a FREE trial running over April and May, 2019. If you are interested please enter your details on the registration survey below and you will be contacted by the scheme shortly. Please note that spaces for the trial program are limited, so not all who register for the trial will be able to participate.
If you would like to discuss the pilot and what is involved then contact Rebecca at Rebecca@RED-sustainability.com.au.
If you would like to know more about the Residential Scorecard program then visit the link below:
Photo image source: RACT
RED Sustainability is pleased to share that Anna Lyth has been appointed to the RACT Greater Hobart Mobility Vision Independent Expert Panel.
The Greater Hobart Mobility Vision project is an initiative of the RACT supported by the University of Tasmania. The initiative recognises the need for a holistic 30-year vision that takes into account active and public transport, future mobility and emerging technologies, social, economic and demographic factors, sustainability, urban planning, infrastructure, as well as the safety of all road users and pedestrians.
Panel members specialise in a range of topics relevant to urban and transport planning. They will help review and refine public submissions for the Greater Hobart vision contributing to a public conversation on the issue.
Find out more about the initiative here: RACT Greater Hobart Mobility Vision
Prescribed burning is a widely practiced bushfire hazard management strategy. While evidence points to reduced levels of public health harm compared to severe bushfire, smoke created by prescribed burns remains a health and community concern with need for evidence-based public health management. In our recently published paper, findings and recommendations are presented from a largely qualitative Victorian study of community experiences of prescribed burns, associated smoke, and public health communications.
Our study’s findings are consistent with the risk perception literature that points to risk perception as being culturally determined, and related to experience, memory, and values. Findings also suggest that the relationship of communities to their local environment (rural, forest, or urban) are also important defining factors in community interpretations of risk and consequences due to bushfire events. These possibilities further clarify the need to understand the context of place in both its social and physical forms when developing strategies for managing the health effects of prescribed burns and the communications that go with this.
The degree of connectivity of communities to their surrounding environment further reinforces the notion that – risk communication needs to become more of a dialogue between authorities or experts on one hand, and communities bringing local knowledge on the other.
This does require more time and effort on the part of government or industry and is contrary to the heavy focus on rolling out smart technology communications, such as apps that provide information and notifications, or social media messaging. From our case studies, it is apparent that – both participatory dialogue and smart technologies are appropriate, but neither on their own are likely to reach all target groups.
Across a range of disciplines (including disaster management, environmental change, and public well-being literatures), participatory engagement processes are seen as central approaches in building resilient communities, and strengthening personal and collective agency. It makes sense then to ensure we consider this in our hazard management strategies.
RecommendationsWith respect to communications around the health risks of prescribed burns and actions individuals and households can take, our study recommends that communication needs to:
AUTHOR: ANNA LYTH
To access the full peer reviewed journal article go to:
https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2018.1508205 or contact Anna
Full article citation is:
Lyth, A., Spinaze, A., Watson, P., & Johnston, F., 2018. Place, human agency and community resilience – considerations for public health management of smoke from prescribed burning. Local Environment, published online 13 Aug 2018.
Thanks also to co-authors Fay Johnston, Anna Spinaze and Phillipa Watson. This work was led by the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, and funded by the Victorian Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) through the Australian Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.
Thermal performance values of glazing can be confusing, so here is a post to outline the basics. The two key values used when assessing the thermal performance of windows are the U-value and the Solar Heat Gain Co-efficient (SHGC). U-value is a measure of heat transmission through a window. Windows are the only building product that use U-value as the measure of transmittance. All other building products use R-value, which is the opposite of U-value. R-value describes thermal insulation (or resistance) of building materials.
In a cool climate (such as Tasmania), the smaller the U-value, the better. The smaller the U-value, the better the window is at preventing heat loss and the higher its thermal performance. Typical U-values range from 7.0 (for clear single glazing in a standard aluminium frame) to 1.0 (for high performing triple glazing in a composite timber/aluminium frame).
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) is a measure of the fraction of solar radiation that enters a building through the window as actual indoor heat gain. SHGC is presented as a decimal fraction between 0 and 1. It depends which climate you live in as to whether you may want to use a higher or lower SHGC. Typical values are between 0.2 for a dark tinted glass, to 0.75 for clear single glazing. In a cool climate such as Tasmania, typically clearer glass is more beneficial as it allows a greater percentage of solar radiation to enter and warm the building. However, each window needs to be considered individually with respect to the building type and the space that the window is serving. There will be instances where a lower SHGC may be beneficial to mitigate overheating.
Values for U and SHGC must be based on the whole window design, including the frame. Glazing manufacturers will often quote the U and SHGC values of their glazing units, but this is before the glazing has been put into a frame. The final U and SHGC values will likely vary greatly depending on the frame that the glazing unit is put into, the operability of the window, and the size of window pane.
More information about thermal performance can be found at the Australian Government's Your Home website. If you would like to talk more specifically about thermal performance on your own building or renovation project, contact us at RED Sustainability.
AUTHOR: STEVE WATSON
Steve is Director at RED Sustainability and specialises in sustainable buildings and energy efficiency.
In the context of accelerated global change, the concept of resilience has emerged as the favoured framework for understanding and responding to the dynamics of change across so many fronts.
Emerging as a more positive approach to vulnerability assessment, resilience assessment looks at strengths, weaknesses, risks, adaptability, and opportunities across a range of domains in the face of changing environments in which a region, place, community, or organization is situated.
Strategic resilience planning can help regions, cities, communities and organization prepare and respond to a range of changes from regional to global dynamics. A good resilience strategy should look at the present and future to not only prepare for riding-out the negative impacts of change but also look to turning threats into opportunities to grow greater resilience into the future.
In the context of strategic city planning, small and large cities alike need to be looking at comprehensive resilience planning. Where Australia’s urban strategic planning has tended to be heavily focused on urban growth management in larger urban and metropolitan centres, smaller cities and regional centres are often dealing with very different challenges. With the pressure on our largest cities, there is a need to consider the capacity of our smaller cities to thrive into the future but understand how this might be possible in a rapidly changing world.
A recent example of strategic resilience planning in a city that has faced change head on is Glasgow. The first city resilience strategy in the UK it is intended to ‘empower, unlock place-based solutions, support fair economic growth, and foster civic participation’. The latter is essential for developing capacity and resilience across all scales. Take a look at the 100 resilient cities site for more information about Glasgow.
Want to learn more about resilience concepts across different domains? Anna is a co-author on the following recently published international journal publication. So far well received, the paper can be downloaded from Anna's ResearchGate site.
AUTHORS: ANNA LYTH & PIP WATSON
Anna and Pip are part of a network of international and national resilience researchers. With experience in strategic planning and resilience thinking RED Sustainability Consultants can assist with resilience assessment and strategic planning at city, community, and organizational scales.