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A holistic approach to the evaluation of sustainable housing

conference contribution
posted on 2011-01-01, 00:00 authored by Yolanda EstebanYolanda Esteban, Susan AngSusan Ang, James Coulson, Susan Mellersh-Lucas, Ursula De JongUrsula De Jong, Robert Fuller
Residential housing is often evaluated against single or at best a limited number of similar criteria. These include quantifiable indicators such as energy use and its associated greenhouse gas emissions. It might also include material consumption from an embodied energy or resource use perspective. Social factors or qualitative indicators may be evaluated but are rarely placed or juxtaposed alongside these quantifiable indicators. A one-dimensional approach will be limiting because sustainable development includes both environmental and social factors. This paper describes the methodologies that have been developed to assess housing developments against five quite different criteria. These are: energy use, resource use, neighbourhood character, neighbourhood connectedness and diversity. In each case, high and low sustainability practice has been identified so that ranking is possible. These methodologies have then been tested by evaluating a typical precinct (approximately 400 m by 400 m) of a 1970-80s housing development in a suburb of Geelong. The rankings of the particular precinct have then been combined in a visual way to assist in the evaluation of the housing in a more holistic way. The results of this evaluation method are presented, along with a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the methodologies. The research is the outcome of collaboration by a cross-disciplinary group of academics within Deakin’s School of Architecture and Building.



Australia and New Zealand Architectural Science Association. Conference (45th : 2011 : Sydney, N. S. W.)


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Sydney, N. S. W.

Place of publication

Sydney, N.S.W.

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Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2011, ANZAScA


R Hyde, S Hayman, D Cabrera

Title of proceedings

ANZAScA 2011 : From principles to practice in architectural science: Proceedings of the 45th Annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association

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