The influence of culture on reducing energy consumption: Aboriginal housing in arid regions of Australia

Timothy O'Rourke (2014). The influence of culture on reducing energy consumption: Aboriginal housing in arid regions of Australia. In: Rajan Rawal, Sanyogita Manu and Nirmala Khadpekar, Sustainable Habitat for Developing Societies: Choosing the Way Forward. 30th International PLEA Conference 2014, Ahmedabad, India, (77-84). 16-18 December 2014.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Timothy O'Rourke
Title of paper The influence of culture on reducing energy consumption: Aboriginal housing in arid regions of Australia
Conference name 30th International PLEA Conference 2014
Conference location Ahmedabad, India
Conference dates 16-18 December 2014
Convener Nimish Patel
Proceedings title Sustainable Habitat for Developing Societies: Choosing the Way Forward
Place of Publication Ahmedabad, India
Publisher CEPT University Press
Publication Year 2014
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status
Editor Rajan Rawal
Sanyogita Manu
Nirmala Khadpekar
Volume 3
Start page 77
End page 84
Total pages 8
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract/Summary This paper examines both the technical and sociocultural aspects of Aboriginal housing in hot dry climates, posing the question: can domestic living patterns and preferences be harnessed to reduce domestic energy consumption? The colonial history of housing Aboriginal people in Australia is rife with precedents that are unsuccessful on multiple levels. Research has highlighted the frequent mismatch between modern housing types and the sociocultural traditions of Aboriginal households. In arid and semi-arid regions, the majority of Aboriginal housing is poorly designed for the climate, yet this aspect of shelter has received limited scholarly attention. The design of bioclimatic houses that support cultural patterns is still an architectural challenge, complicated by diverse historical and economic conditions. Additionally, the increasing cost of energy causes economic stresses for public housing occupants. Current climate change models for Australian arid regions predict increasing temperatures and less predictable rainfall patterns, which provide further challenges for low-energy housing design. Using recent survey data on Aboriginal housing in Northwest Queensland, this paper examines the design implications of using both sociocultural and technical factors to improve living environments and reduce energy consumption. The integrated design of buildings in landscaped yards can both mitigate overheating and support socio-cultural practices that affect overall residential energy consumption. Despite a general consensus on the significance of external living environments in the literature, there is lack of evidence from research that measures culturally derived adaptive strategies to reduce residential energy consumption in Aboriginal housing.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
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Created: Fri, 06 Mar 2015, 09:16:33 EST by Mrs Erin Lewis on behalf of School of Architecture