Page 22 - Final Report-8 NO TRANSPARENCY

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Resilient urban systems:
a socio-technical study of community scale climate change adaptation initiatives
“So that’s where we noticed a big difference in our bills because we’re not having heating
on or cooling as much.” (A6)
Some features of the systems at Aurora have inadvertently led to adaptive changes in practices. Several
householders noted that they have stopped taking baths because the flow restrictor means that it takes too
long to fill:
“We very rarely do baths because it’s just, by the time you fill up the bath it takes I don’t
know how many litres and forever: it takes half an hour to fill the thing up, so we’re waiting
and waiting and waiting. So sometimes it’s just easier just to jump in the shower.” (A5)
“It just takes too long to actually fill up the tub.” (A13)
However, other features of system design and installation at Aurora do not appear to support resilience.
The heating systems used as standard seem able to be zoned, but this is a manual function, requiring the
householder to use a chair or ladder, and a broom or something similar, to close off a vent. This requires
knowledge (or information provision), technique and action competence. For these reasons, it could be
assumed that zoning happens less frequently than it would if it were a more automatic or effortless task:
“I believe I can but I don’t know how to do that.” (A1)
“No, I don’t have the zoning: you can only close them, which we do with the kids’ rooms;
we actually close them…It’s pretty high. Yep. Husband doesn’t like it: he’s scared of
heights.” (A5)
“We close these if we’ve got the cooling on, because then the heat would, the cooling
would just go straight through the vents and what’s the point?” (A6)
“No. No. I zone them by shutting a door.” (A1)
One resident indicated that the heating could not be zoned (although it can, manually) and therefore
perceives that the ducted system is more inefficient as it heats the whole house. For this reason, they use
electric heaters, moved around the house as required:
“It goes the whole house, so I actually use the hot, electricity heater.” (A11)
The location of vents and fans in the home can also lead to discomfort:
“Definitely would change these are quite annoying when you’re eating especially the
heating as well coming straight onto you. And there’s three very close together here, they
should have spread them out maybe put one over there instead…, we don’t have any
hanging in the bathrooms and the laundry so we don’t have any heating down there.”
“This fan was literally 15cm, the blades were literally 15cm from touching each other, so
they just put them on top of each other and not spaced it out, so just crazy stuff like that.”
“I prefer this as far as the noise factor goes but to be honest as far as the vents I prefer it
in the floor, that’s just me, because heat rises I find that this is great, it keeps your body
warm but the feet are cold” (A6)
In one case the resident is installing an air conditioner in the bedroom as a result:
“When I walk in it’s this height just for about a metre and that’s where they’ve put it and I
find that it doesn’t cool down the room enough because it’s quite far away and the room
has got a very high ceiling. The heating they’ve put it up on the side of the wall facing into
the room. Yeah I don’t think it was adequate the vents there are quite inadequate.” (A1)