Ventilation for Reduced Heat Stress in Apartments
Authors: Jensen, Christopher; Cadorel, Xavier; Chu, Adrian
The increase in building code requirements of modern buildings are correlated with increased
overheating, particularly in apartment buildings. This research addresses the comparative performance
of the Australian apartment stock with international heat wave regulations, six apartment buildings were
performance modelled based on the extremes of the 2009 Victorian heatwave that began on the 27
January with daytime temperatures topping 43°C across 3 days, with night‐time minimums of above 25°C.
All 6 apartments failed the four international summer comfort standards that were reviewed. The worst
performing apartment underwent further investigation. Retrofit strategies were tested to determine the
most effective method for reducing overheating. As found in the literature, improved ventilation is often
the most effective retrofit method. Further investigation revealed that ventilation opportunities are
significantly restricted by the Australian NCC window protection requirements that restrict window
openings, reducing typical ventilation area from a window from 50% to 20%. This has a significant impact
on the ability to use natural ventilation for reducing of overheating in apartments.