Prospective home builders or renovators plus professionals and tradespeople across building and development industries can access climate-specific design specifications and ideas that are contained in Toowoomba Regional Council’s (TRC) new Warm Temperate Climate Building Design Guidelines.

The Guidelines were launched at Monday night’s (March 21) public forum, TRUDI: Architectural Design Series ‘Warm Temperate Architecture’ at the Empire Theatre Church in Toowoomba, which was part of the Asia Pacific Architecture Festival. View the guidelines at, www.tr.qld.gov.au/design 

TRC Planning and Development Committee chair Cr Megan O’Hara Sullivan said the Guidelines offered the community positive solutions to consider more appropriate climate-responsive building designs, which were one part of the puzzle to support the Region’s liveability.

Cr O’Hara Sullivan said the Guidelines contained tools for interpreting responses to climate change and variability as well as incorporating practical design ideas in home renovations or new construction, as well as multi-residential and commercial buildings.

“The Guidelines are easy to read, offering simple, straight-forward tools to help residents address and incorporate local climate building design solutions in their plans. We want residents and all parts of the building industry to consider the guidelines in future designs,” Cr O’Hara Sullivan said.

“Our warm temperate climate is different from surrounding regions in South East Queensland. The Guidelines are a starting point to help residents plan cost effective and energy-efficient designs. As a living document, the Guidelines will be updated with longer term climate data across different areas of the Region.”

TRC Planning and Development Committee portfolio leader Cr Bill Cahill said the researchers’ evidence-based model highlighted the Toowoomba Region’s unique climate and offered guidance for achieving better built form outcomes.

“The Guidelines are the start of an ongoing conversation and are proposed as the first of many guidelines under the Toowoomba Region Design banner that outline how to respond to our Region’s climate,” Cr Cahill said.

“The Guidelines are part of the Planning Scheme review. As we progress, more detailed regional climate data, including data from four new USQ-operated automatic weather stations at Highfields, Crows Nest, Acland and Felton, will help Council draft specific Planning Scheme provisions, particularly reconfiguration of a lot codes. (to offer better home orientation, especially for a northerly aspect)

“Ultimately, when designing future subdivisions across the Region, key principles will be needed to establish lots that allow individual dwellings to incorporate the best design features for a warm temperate climate.”

Monday night’s panel featured Dr Kirsty Volz, co-director of Toussaint and Volz, and architecture lecturer at QUT’s School of Architecture and Built Environment; Dr Liz Brogden, design lecturer at the School of Architecture at The University of Queensland; Dr Christa Pudmenzky, climate science lecturer at the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, and member of the Centre for Applied Climate Sciences at USQ; and Dr Rosemary Kennedy, director of SubTropical Cities Consultancy and Mulder and Kennedy Architects, and adjunct professor of architecture at QUT.

Residents are welcome to view a display at the Toowoomba City Library in collaboration with the Toowoomba Branch of Renew until April 1.

Toowoomba City Library has new design books and magazines that are available to borrow. https://asiapacificarchitecturefestival.com/2022/event/warm-temperate-climate-building-design-toowoomba-city-library

A recording of the panel discussion can be viewed at, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noV9kwWkVSU 

Caption: Cr Megan O’Hara Sullivan (left), Dr Kirsty Volz, Cr Bill Cahill and Renew Toowoomba committee member Ross Campbell at the Toowoomba City Library book design display.

Audio files: Cr Megan O’Hara Sullivan, Dr Kirsty Volz, Cr Bill Cahill: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/P7t9CZb1cJ