Temperature control of buildings for health – using design games

November 3rd, 2014

Architectural design students from the University of Newcastle, Australia, participated in a Housing for Health design ‘mini-course’ aimed at improving the extreme temperatures found in the living environment for houses in Alice Springs and Townsville.

Part of the program included 7 teams designing various interventions related to their little plywood person. Each little person is fitted with a data logger and temperature probe that takes and stores the surrounding air temperature from a sensor in the person stomach area every minute.

The challenges link the larger design program with short, sharp exercises with absolute results. The team with the best score for each exercise, wins.
The photo shows the teams each placing their person on a given site ready for the extreme temperature test. This was done after they had designed a cooling intervention on each person with a basic set of given materials that had to be ‘purchased’ from the game shop. 

A cardboard box ‘hood’ was then placed over the game site and a hair dryer was used to raise the internal temperature to over 70°C. Cash was awarded to each team for every degree cooler than ambient temperature their person achieved. The winning team best used the least design materials and achieved the greatest temperature improvement.

Game 1  Copy

Game 2  Copy

Temperatures inside the hood reached a maximum of 76C at the critical time.

The winning team, TEAM BLACK, managed to keep the person at 25C and use only $1,000 in materials. Even the poorest performing design lowered the temperature experienced by the person by 39C … not a bad effort. (Note: there was a miscalculation on the sheet below and Team Green actually reduced the temperature by 39C not 29C as written in the heat of the competition!!!)

Good design and construction reduces materials needed and gives a great result. 

Well done to the students, tutors and John Roberts who runs the year.

Game Results  Uo N Stuff Game Details

Black Team Pages From Uo N Stuff Game Details