Developing a Benchmark for the Energy Efficiency of Residential Modular Housing Designs

Walker, Jessica (2021) Developing a Benchmark for the Energy Efficiency of Residential Modular Housing Designs. [USQ Project]

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Housing affordability in Australia is at an all time low. House prices are high and once consumers enter the housing market they are faced with increased household running costs. Modular housing offers an affordable solution to the residential housing market, providing modular designs with fast construction times and often with lower costs than traditional building models.

With improved efficiencies, shorter build times and less site delays, modular housing is becoming an increasingly popular choice for home builders. With the ability to personalise designs and lower initial costs the modular housing market is growing.

It is essential that modular housing options not only be affordable to build, but have low running costs, this is achieved through energy efficient design.

As engineers we have an ethical obligation to the public to assist in providing safe and affordable housing solutions. One way this can be achieved is through energy efficient building design.

By design, modular housing is lightweight construction. Without the inherent benefits of thermal mass, alternative options are required to achieve good building thermal performance from modular construction. This paper will assess the initial home energy ratings of three modular housing models and identify and cost what design optimisation can be completed to achieve improved thermal performance and increased energy efficiency for the home.

The resultant improvement in thermal performance has been quantified based on average electricity costs for southeast Queensland.

The findings of this dissertation are that energy efficiency can be improved in the modular housing market in an affordable manner. Payback periods of less than four years have been identified based on the initial increased construction costs associated with improved building thermal performance and increased energy efficiency.

This project has identified areas for efficiencies in the modular housing market. Modular housing companies can streamline their designs to better suit the Australian market. Energy efficient residential housing is the emerging benchmark for the industry. This research report identifies how this need can be met efficiently and effectively.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Goh, Steven
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical)
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2023 05:05
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 03:00
Uncontrolled Keywords: housing, modular, energy efficiency, design, thermal performance, electricity

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