Architecture, Building and Planning - Research Publications

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    SAHANZ: The Last 15 Years, 2004-2019
    de la Vega de Leon, M ; Hislop, K ; Lewi, H (SAHANZ, 2021)
    This paper investigates the writing of architectural history in Australia and New Zealand promoted by SAHANZ over the last fifteen years. In 2004, the Society celebrated its twentieth anniversary. To mark the occasion, Julia Gatley was commissioned to write “SAHANZ: The First 20 Years, 1984-2004,” an historical account of the formation of the Society, its conferences and journal Fabrications. Also, from 2004 are two papers presented at “LIMITS”: the 21st Annual Conference (Melbourne), which were reprinted as the last two papers included in the coedited anthology Shifting Views: Selected Essays on the Architectural History of Australia and New Zealand. The two endeavours were in a way the result of a growing concern regarding the potential loss of the Society’s early legacy, and prompted the collection/digitisation of minutes, records, and printed conference proceedings and issues of Fabrications. If the first twenty years of the Society are those of the establishment and development of concerns and priorities, the following fifteen have entailed a certain expansion. On the one hand, expansion of the audience, with SAHANZ themes and researchers featuring in international events and publications of partner scholarly institutions. On the other, expansion of themes, with an increase in the attention paid to the broader Australasian, Pacific, and Asia-Pacific regions. The research undertaken by members of the Society since 2004 not only evidences an explicit transnational focus on Australasia and the Pacific region, but also positions Australia and New Zealand in the recent discussions on global architectural histories.
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    Repertory Grid Methodology to Research Tacit Knowledge in Construction
    Aranda-Mena, G ; Vaz-Serra, P ; Edwards, P (CIB, 2022)
    Quality and buildability are important issues in construction, and both emerge at the earliest stages of design. However, neither are well-defined concepts. Our premise is that behaviour, values and culture impact on quality and buildability in the design stage, but these are also vulnerable to precise definition and difficult to investigate within a typical hypothesis-driven positivist approach. A better method may lie in a theory of personal constructs or ‘constructivism’ which takes the human experience as a whole. Qualitative research methods and data collection techniques are critically reviewed to assess those methods best fit for the purpose of approaching the research problem. Personal Construct Psychology (PCP), using repertory grids, emerges as a suitable candidate and is applied in two pilot studies in Australia and Singapore. Preliminary results show the appropriateness of the approach for engaging in buildability studies.
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    Managing the risks associated with remote learning project implementation
    Aranda-Mena, G ; Vaz-Serra, P ; Edwards, P (CIB, 2022)
    Academic institutions have faced substantial issues and difficulties since the novel coronavirus disease became pandemic. Traditional class attendance-based pedagogy rapidly became compromised, and universities were forced into alternative ways of delivering learning to students whom themselves faced restrictions, even to the point of not even being able to enter the countries where they had enrolled for their studies. In the haste to implement projects for alternative learning delivery systems, there was little time to develop proactive approaches to project risk management for such implementation. By default, delivery risks were addressed re-actively, and a “lessons learned” post-implementation approach prevailed. Two case studies have been used to explore risk management practices used in alternative learning delivery environments. The findings show emerging teaching and learning dynamics, particularly with risk-managing delivery of course learning experience and content quality. Lessons learnt are summarised, and recommendations are drawn.
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    The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on air pollution: A global assessment using machine learning techniques
    Nice, KA (IAUC, 2022)
    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, most countries implemented public health ordinances that resulted in restricted mobility and a resultant change in air quality. This has provided an opportunity to quantify the extent to which carbon-based transport and industrial activity affect air quality. In this study, confounding factors were disentangled for a direct comparison of pandemic-related reductions in absolute pollutions levels, globally. The non-linear relationships between atmospheric processes and daily ground-level NO2, PM10, PM2.5 and O3 measurements were captured in city- and pollutant-specific XGBoost models for over 700 cities, adjusting for weather, seasonality and trends. City-level modelling allowed adaptation to the distinct topography, urban morphology, climate and atmospheric conditions for each city, individually, as the weather variables that were most predictive varied across cities. Pollution forecasts for 2020 in absence of a pandemic were generated based on weather and formed an ensemble for country-level pollution reductions. Findings were robust to modelling assumptions and consistent with various published case studies. NO2 reduced most in China, Europe and India, following severe government restrictions as part of the initial lockdowns. Reductions were highly correlated with changes in mobility levels, especially trips to transit stations, workplaces, retail and recreation venues. Further, NO2 did not fully revert to pre-pandemic levels in 2020. Ambient PM2.5 pollution, which has severe adverse health consequences, reduced most in China and India. Increased O3 levels during initial lockdowns have been documented widely. However, our analyses found a subsequent reduction in O3 for many countries below what was expected based on meteorological conditions during summer months (e.g., China, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Poland, Turkey). The effects in periods with high O3 levels are especially important for the development of effective mitigation strategies to improve health outcomes.
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    Targeted urban heat mitigation strategies using urban morphology databases and micro-climate modelling to examine the urban heat profile
    Nice, K ; Broadbent, A (Copernicus, 2020)
    Strategies for urban heat mitigation often make broad and non-specific recommendations (i.e. plant more trees) without accounting for local context. As a result, resources might be allocated to areas of lesser need over those where more urgent interventions are needed. Also, these interventions might return less than optimal results if local conditions are not considered. This project aims to assist with these interventions by providing a method to examine the urban heat profile of a city through an automated systematic approach. Using urban morphology information from databases such as WUDAPT, areas of cities are clustered into representative local climate zones (LCZs) and modelled at a micro-scale using localised features and properties. This bottom up modelling approach, using the VTUF-3D, UMEP, and TARGET models, allows these areas to be assessed in detail for their human thermal comfort performance and provide a city-wide heat map of thermal comfort. It also allows mitigation scenarios to be tested and targeted for each cluster type. A case study performed using this method for Melbourne is presented.
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    On a Field: Undoing Polarities between Indigenous and Non-indigenous Design Knowledges
    Hinkel, R ; Newell, D ; Kroll, D ; Curry, J ; Nolan, M (SAHANZ, 2022)
    This paper discusses how architectural practices can engage with and be inspired by a culture that is more than 60.000 years old. How can architects learn from situated and embodied Indigenous knowledge systems in the Australian context? How can an ethical engagement with indigenous histories and practices inspire the development of future architectural practices? This paper proposes that a better understanding of indigenous relationships to land and our environment can inspire us as a society and as architects to imagine new ways of thinking and practising. Considering our numerous contemporary crises, such as climate change, species extinction, food insecurity, we might need to begin to challenge and question western European norms and frameworks. The persistence of colonial thinking, operating within a capitalist system, has been the root cause of most of our contemporary crises. To attempt to undo the polarities that persist between indigenous and non-indigenous knowledge and thinking, we might learn new ways of storytelling as a means of envisioning an alternative future. This paper understands the theme of the ‘ultra’ as that position that keeps us apart and stops us from sharing stories that might lead to alternative ways of speculating on shared spatial futures. To situate this discussion, we present a collaborative and pedagogical design experiment undertaken on the lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung. On this Country, tentative attempts to learn with the environment and its associated stories were ventured on a small field and storytelling was used to shift our understanding of country and architecture.
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    The lIfe cycle performance of Monomur in Australian residential construction
    Simcock, N ; Crawford, RH ; Jensen, CA (Green Building Council Spain, 2014)
    Brick veneer is the most dominant construction type in Australia; however it is not necessarily the most advantageous for the climate. Mass wall types, where massing is evident on the interior of the building, can help to achieve greater thermal performance. Monomur thermal blocks are a thermal mass system, based on single leaf construction. They are resistant to compression, transfer of heat, and are made from natural clay. Monomur has shown to benefit construction in Europe, most predominantly France, where the push for low energy buildings is high on the national agenda. This study aimed to determine the life cycle energy performance of the use of the monomur system in Australian residential construction. A life cycle energy analysis (LCEA) was used to quantify and compare the life cycle energy performance of two case study houses, one built from monomur and one from brick veneer. It was shown that there is minimal difference in the performance of these two construction approaches, paving the way for the potential use of monomur in the Australian context.
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    An early-stage life cycle model for low-energy buildiings
    Crawford, RH ; Czerniakowski, I ; Fuller, RJ (Green Building Council Spain, 2014-10-30)
    The aim of this study is to demonstrate the application of a model previously developed by the authors for low-energy building design, to show how the availability of comparable energy performance information at the building design stage can be used to better optimise a building’s energy performance. The life cycle energy demand of a case study building was quantified using a comprehensive embodied energy assessment technique and TRNSYS thermal energy simulation software. The building was then modelled with variations to its external assemblies in an attempt to optimise its life cycle energy performance. The alternative assemblies chosen were those shown through the authors’ early-stage life cycle energy model to result in the lowest life cycle energy demand for each building element. The study showed that significant life cycle energy savings, up to 45%, are possible through the modelling of individual building elements for the case study building.
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    Concept and barriers for the economic value of low-energy houses
    Wu, H ; Crawford, RH ; Warren-Myers, G ; Dave, M ; Noguchi, M (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, 2015)
    This study explores the market revealed price of low-energy residential buildings and why the economic value of low-energy housing products is less transparent in active residential markets. It explores Australian and Japanese conditions and examines the proposition by using embodied energy, operational energy and market price data of selected housing stock in Australia. The study aims to examine a new perspective towards understanding the barriers to ascertaining the economic value of low-energy buildings. In particular, the study examines the composition of energy consumption associated with the residential property life cycle. Operational energy is linked to consumer preference by its inter-temporal value estimate of future expected utility or benefit flow. A ‘low’ embodied energy house is an environmental construct, which does not appear to currently link to short-term market value perception. It does not strongly link to an expected (intuitive) benefit. This ‘gap/disconnect’ creates a barrier to estimating a holistic economic value of low-energy residential property.
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    Exploring the relationship between Melbourne’s water metabolism and urban characteristics
    Athanassiadis, A ; Crawford, RH ; Bouillard, P ; Burton, P ; Shearer, H (State of Australian Cities Research Network, 2015)
    Cities can be seen as complex urban systems that mobilise local and global resource flows to meet the needs of their inhabitants and their manufacturing sector. However, the local consumption of resources can be responsible for major local and global environmental changes that impact the human health and wellbeing inside and outside of the boundary of the urban system. With global urban population expected to continue to grow, the mitigation of further future environmental pressures from urban consumption is of critical importance. The complexity of the interrelationships between the local social, political, cultural, economic and environmental facets of a city as well as the interrelationship between these local characteristics and urban consumption, dictate that each city will have a different set of parameters that drive urban consumption. This research will investigate this issue by exploring the relationship between Melbourne’s water metabolism and its urban characteristics. In practice, this study will correlate the spatially disaggregated water use of Melbourne with local factors such as demography, average income, territorial organisation, etc. It will then be possible to identify which urban characteristics have the greatest influence on water use and ultimately help to inform the development and implementation of the most appropriate and best targeted policies for reducing water use across Melbourne Metropolitan Area.