Issue 6
Monday, 08 May 2017
Charles Darwin University
Building Technology Lecturer Lisa Jeffery
Building Technology Lecturer Lisa Jeffery

Lecturer lifts lid on top tropical design ideas

By Patrick Nelson

The community’s thirst for knowledge about tropical architecture prompted a Charles Darwin University lecturer to reveal some of the construction industry’s best-kept secrets at a meeting in Darwin recently.

Building design drafting lecturer Lisa Jeffery said she discussed several key “passive design principles” at the National Association of Women in Construction’s two-hour workshop at Casuarina campus. 

“I spoke about design principles that have the potential to reduce cost and to improve the standard of living for residents in the greater Darwin area,” Ms Jeffery said.

“Anyone wanting to build, buy or renovate may implement these ideas to achieve the maximum benefit.”

Ms Jeffery said she was aware that many new and established residents wanted to “do better” but were uncertain how; or even if it were possible.

“It is possible to build a cool, comfortable home that has a low environmental footprint and that doesn’t look like a southern-style box,” she said.

“The trick is to make it work for today’s rules and regulations, land sizes, design covenants, and which overcomes today’s challenges in property crime, noise pollution and changing seasonal conditions.

“I talked about some of the tried and tested ideas for capturing prevailing breezes, limiting dry season dust and creating shade in all the right places. And it need not cost more than houses currently being built.”

Ms Jeffery said there was a practical component to the workshop that allowed participants an opportunity to design a small studio.

“I showed them how to sketch in perspective, how to illustrate their ideas, and encouraged them to be creative with materials and shapes. 

“With the right knowledge, everyone can play their part in shaping their built environment.”