Feel at home in the tropics
the house for natural airflow, and building houses too close together or with high fences also cuts the home’s ventilation.”
She said large roof overhangs which shaded house walls, plenty of ceiling fans and insulation, especially in block work homes, could be overlooked but were vital to ensuring a climate-controlled home in the Far North.
“Louvres also give you the biggest percentage of opening, and smart landscaping doesn’t add to your heat load at all and provides both shade and privacy for the house.”
“My best t i p to people i s always to try and keep your airconditioning footprint as small as possible and create a big veranda space that’s as shaded as possible.”
She encouraged those building in the tropics to take a leaf out of the books of home builders in Darwin and Singapore rather than transplanting home designs from southern capitals to Cairns.
She said Darwin’s town plan stipulated provision of large balconies on new homes, while Singaporean designs involved vertical greening (planting up the exterior of building walls) and rooftop gardens.
“From what I can tell Cairns Regional Council seems to be trending towards building skinnier buildings incorporating a lot more vertical greening in their updated town plan, so that’s the way Cairns seems to be going too,” she said.
She said those seeking to buy rather than build should choose suburbs or subdivisions that nurture their green spaces and provide footpaths and cycleways.
Houses in older suburbs with established greens were her pick when aiming for a larger lot but she said some new developments, including Argentea at Palm Cove, also had strict conditions to ensure the estate was built with the tropical climate and green spaces in mind.
Ms Jung is one of five presenters appearing next Thursday, August 6, at Designed in Cairns: Women in Design in the Tropics. It is an initiative of the Australian Institute of Architects FNQ Regional Members Committee held in conjunction with James Cook University’s Cairns Institute.
The free event presents a forum of ideas and experiences from women in architecture, urban design, planning and environment, interiors and communication from the Cairns region, and involves presentations from each speaker plus a Q & A session.
The event will be at The Cairns Institute’s main lecture theatre from 5.30-7.30pm. Register through the Events page at https://alumni.jcu.edu.au.