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Sustainable building in Australia and Sweden: a comparative study of passive design techniques and Life Cycle Costs
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The building industry stands for as much as 40% of the global energy use and 50% of the greenhouse emissions. In a world that is more and more affected by climate changes and global warming, the building industry carries a big responsibility and has the power to make huge difference when aiming for a more sustainable development. The way to push buildings and houses as far as possible in the aim for a more environmental-friendly and less energy using future, is to go for the passive design techniques. Passive design is almost what it sounds like, a house that passive use resources to gain heating, cooling, heating of water and create ventilation. It uses as little energy as possible due to high levels of insulation, right orientation, plan and zoning of the house, high thermal mass and advanced ventilation system. The passive design techniques are functioning in both a cold country, as Sweden, and a warm country, as Australia, because it helps the effect of both cooling and heating. In Australia the passive design concept has to be combined with a more opened- up design though, because of extreme weather conditions that do not occur in Sweden. This thesis is about comparing the two countries when it comes to perspectives such as economy, design solutions, materials, accessibility and opportunities for a private house builder and views of sustainable development. Calculations in a Life Cycle Costs analysis and a literature study of the different countries prerequisites lead to several different conclusions. The most interesting thing might be the economical perspective. It appears to be a lot more profitable in Sweden than in Australia to build a passive designed house. The extra investment cost to build a passive designed house is almost the same in the two countries: however the annual savings are much higher in Sweden than in Australia. This fact contributes to a Capital Value Quota, which describes how much the investment is regaining per staked investment dollar, of almost 29 in Sweden and just above 11 in Australia. The Payback times for the investment are estimated six years for Sweden and about 11.5 years for Australia. This might contribute to the fact that passive design is much more common and accessible in Sweden. Other differences are the level of insulation, construction technique and ingoing materials. This is mostly because natural differences in climate. But more general the attitudes against sustainable development seem to differ between the countries. Australia is today the country in the developed world that discharges the highest level of greenhouse gases per capita in the whole world, whilst Sweden is one of the counties that let out the lowest level. When Sweden has much more to save in energy use per house, Australia has more to save in a national perspective. Sustainable development is not compromising the ability of future generations to meet the present needs, and that is as important to both countries and a strong reason to commit to build passive designed houses, in Australia and in Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-49092ISRN: LTU-EX--10/007--SELocal ID: 67b18a7d-d840-4f5e-b333-aec66af06275OAI: diva2:1022437
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Civil Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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