Remote Assessment Factors Influencing Housing Thermal Efficiency in NSW using GIS and Aerial Photography

Rachel Whitsed, Penelope Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


International strategies to reduce the amount of energy consumed in our homes include policy, regulation and education. In Australia, as with other countries, we now have building design regulations which set minimum energy and water efficiency requirements. A cornerstone to energy efficient housing is their ability to gain solar energy in winter or prevent solar gain in summer. Improved knowledge and understanding around housing efficiency along with new planning regulations encourages the building of energy efficient housing. Taking the introduction of BASIX (in NSW) as the point of comparison, and solar orientation as the key indicator we test a methodology that could be used to monitor the shift to more energy efficient housing. Using aerial photography and GIS we evaluate whether Post-BASIX single dwellings have adopted the energy efficient features of solar orientation, lighter roof colour and smaller building size compared to Pre-BASIX dwellings. The presence of these features, we argue, are indicators of whether or not our new housing stock is optimising the opportunity for thermal efficiency and whether we are progressing toward an energy literate society. Our findings indicate there is no statistical difference between Pre- and Post-BASIX homes in our study sites with respect to these features. In addition we have recorded a trend toward smaller private open space and note that this change may have negative consequences for resident wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-492
Number of pages20
JournalUrban Policy and Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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