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Housing101 is a company set up to retrofit high quality steel transportable buildings into stylish small and tiny houses, granny flats, disabled friendly units, student, tourist, emergency and other types of affordable housing. Housing101 conversions provide innovative, economical and compliant housing.

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Not on ambience, but this post from the CSIRO just came out on water tanks: Tank water: How to protect yourself from gastro, toxic metals and more. LINK.

Tank water isn't necessarily all pure and light.

One thing not mentioned in controlling temperature is roof reflection. I've been meaning to guernay my south facing corrugated iron roof pitch as it is crusted with stuff. The north is fine -- but 'roof washing' or roof painting even more so can be an environmental plus.

RESEARCH:Cooling the urban heat island with more reflective roofs. LINK

Albedo and surface temperature

Figure 13. Albedo and surface temperature.

(Source: Lawrence Berkeley).

I was interested in this exchange because I'm running out of options ...and weapons against the heat.

I'll use any cheap choice.
This Summer will surely be the coolest ever here -- relative to the weather conditions  -- but you always like to embrace more cool.

This article is very useful, I reckon:LINK

Both the housing industry and occupants seem to have little understanding of the impact design and construction have on the temperature inside the building. As a result, air-conditioning is now seen not as desirable, but as a necessity. This does not have to be the case...So when facing a heatwave, should we open up our houses or close them up? The answer is… it depends.If your home is well insulated and shaded, it should be able to resist several days of extreme heat. Closing doors, windows and curtains during the heat of the day can help the house stay cooler than outside. Ceiling fans provide air movement to make you feel cooler.Opening the house as much as possible from late afternoon to early morning is beneficial if overnight temperatures will fall below your inside temperature.Air conditioning a poorly insulated house with little shading is expensive and futile. In a well-insulated and shaded house, air-conditioning can be used quite efficiently by using the same strategies as above. A higher thermostat setting (perhaps 26-28C), combined with ceiling fans, can provide comfort with lower running costs. This can also reduce strain on the electricity network.Whether air-conditioned or not, houses can be designed specifically for their climate, to limit the flow of heat between the outside and inside. The higher the star rating of the house, the more effectively it stops unwanted heat from entering the house. Different strategies are required for different climates.

So I was keen to deal with some of my own challenges --and thus enters, no doubt, a period of experimentation.

  • Challenge 1: cooling the back south facing veranda. Corrugated iron roof.
  • Option a: whirley gig. I've used this before at our last house. In summer I opened   the manhole directly below the spinner in order to draw  air thru the house.But on a veranda set below the roof pitch, will it work? LINK
  • Option b: misting. Looking good. The hardware is cheap and offers an easy turn/turn off option that will also cool the house as a secondary flow. But is this wasting water? Not if you have a garden underneath and only use it for those times you are occupying the space.I like it. LINK. Local devices will run off a town water standard tap 
  • Option c: roof sprinkler: This is a bit lateral.Locating a sprinkler on the roof top so that it wets and cools your target area makes a lot of sense IF roof run off runs into a water tank. indeed you could use water tank water -- recycled -- to do this. Issues: you need to run a pump and some of the volume will be evaporated.LINK. In my case, if I run bore water thru the roof option I merely add to my tank volume although the 'stain' will colour my roof terracotta brown.

As for an earlier presentation of mine: if you paint your roof to reduce solar rays -- while a great option -- you then run your rainwater over the paint if you harvest it in rainwater tanks.

Is this OK? I'm not sure.

Dave That solar whizz seems like a good invention.  Old house builders in the past used to put louvre vents under the eaves and sometimes on the sides of the roof depending on the design. Many old houses had glass louvres to quickly catch breezes. The old bushies used to say galvanised tin unlined, was used in sheds and although they heated up, they cooled quickly. Young people can cope better then the older person in a heatwave. Aircon is a must for us for at least 3 weeks around Christmas. 

Not sure about the coolth though it sounds as if we are going to have a La Niña meaning extra rain at least early in the summer. Can't argue with some more water into the soil profile!

Keeping out the heat and allowing the cooler evening air into the house is the strategy we use.

We had an unlined patio roof even painted white it radiated a lot of heat into the house. It's on the eastern side of the house and in sun for much of the day. We had the ceiling lined and insulated and it does indeed make a noticeable difference.

We have whirligigs in the tiled roof above the fibreglass insulation. No idea what effect they really have.

Got ourselves a misting setup $53 free delivery: LINK.

Took only 20 minutes to set up and now runs most of the border of our back veranda.

Certainly cools the veranda area and keeps flies and mosquitoes at bay. Quarter turn on the tap.

We'll probably also get a Misting Timer -- LINK-- as well. Although you can buy them in a combo package.

I thought  that if it wasn't a goer it was only the price of a fan or I could use the rig to mist grow my seedlings. 

This is how the misters work on humans. Instant rainforest without having to grow the trees or build the gully ..

Early days of course and we have a Summer to trial the setup.

I deployed it as an early Chrissy pres.

15 metres of coolant options; 7 + 1 misting heads to be inserted where you want them. The nozzles can be directed more or less in dependently so tweaking where you want them to spray is up to you.

For myself I also got a Neck Tie Cooler (LINK) which is like a portable esky worn around the neck. Had one before and wore it out. I think SUPER COOL  Neck Tie Cooler cools much better than the standard tie and is ideal for any heatwave.

Here am I in the neck tie groover in my super cool...

Councils use them as part of their heat stroke do many job sites for their workforce.

Alternatively there is always this: just up the coast 'somewhere' not far away:boy are we glad we found this special spot.

Hope that system works for you, it is nice to walk through a misting screen. The company, making that item, is where we buy our hose products from.  The long handled shower wand is good for fine spraying our plants without hosing the soil out of the pot.

That suave young man in the photo, modelling the latest neck tie, Oh it's you. 

Double brick or cavity brick is not common in SE Qld. In colder climes it is common. As a kid I lived in a double brick house in Sydney; it was always cold. No insulation of course in those days. From around 14 years old, I've lived in wood houses until 2002 when we moved here. The double brick take longer to heat up but are supposedly able to give off that heat in colder weather. Not sure about this, sounds a tad too good to be true. They say that of insulation too. What I have found is if you can keep the heat out in the summer, the insulation does have a good effect of stopping more heat coming in through the roof. But in winter you need to have sunlight coming into the house itself to warm the house.

yes Elaine we tried to build here with double brick and couldnt find anyone who would do it so we used hebel - Hebel’s PowerBlock+ system is the ideal alternative to double brick with over one and a half times the thermal resistance of double brick, giving you an extremely solid, masonry home that’s comfortable to live in, offer great acoustic performance, reducing noise transmission from external sources such as traffic, making your home a more quiet one.  They have outstanding thermal properties meaning your house is more comfortable and there is less of a reliance on heating and cooling. Fast to install without compromising on quality, the system is extremely robust and is non-combustible, making it low-risk and ideal for bushfire prone areas. ( taken from their burb but yes the certifier agreed ) after the frame and channels were in the whole exterior of the house took about 12 hours to put up! along with clerestory and   e windows ( comparable to double glazing for heat and noise) the whole house is extra quiet and constant temperature even 45 degree days outside its 29c inside ! extra wall floor and ceiling insulaton , then cross ventilation and double wall ( walk in wardrobe ) along western wall whole house is comfortable all year round ! then sliding glass and small eaves on the North for winter sun 

Building science has moved on since the 1930s when our Sydney house was built!


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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

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