And finally… ban on a hot tin roof

And finally... ban on a hot tin roof

Dark-coloured roofs are facing extinction in Australia after a state government responded to growing calls to ban the popular home design trend.

From the multimillion-dollar properties on The Block to the glossy pages of design magazines, dark roof colours have taken hold in recent years and become increasingly sought-after.

They’re also extremely common in new suburbs popping up on the fringes of major capitals like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

But research shows colour matters when it comes to regulating heat – not just inside an individual dwelling, but across entire neighbourhoods.

The Playford Alive urban renewal project in Adelaide’s northern suburbs takes in a 1000ha state-of-the-art site, including 500ha of housing development.

When eventually complete, the sprawling $1 billion project in Munno Para will be home to some 40,000 people.

Nick Champion, minister for housing and urban development, said most of the homes built to date have dark-coloured roofs.

But no more. Last week, Mr Champion announced that dark roofs will be eliminated from all future stages of Playford Alive.

“Encouraging the use of light-coloured roofs in home designs helps to reduce temperature fluctuations in the home – lowering electricity bills and minimising the environmental footprint associated with traditional building practices,” Mr Champion said.

“It is imperative that we mitigate any potential urban heat island effect by implementing these changes now, as our infill is built up to meet housing demands.”

The urban heat island effect describes scenarios where pockets are substantially hotter than nearby areas, resulting in hotter streets, higher daytime temperatures, and lower night-time cooling.

A report by Seed Consulting, which heat-mapped Adelaide’s northern suburbs, found homes with light-coloured roofs were 4.3C cooler on an average day than dark roofed homes.

Janine Strachan, chief executive of the Insulation Council of Australia and New Zealand, praised the Playford Alive decision.

“This initiative of light-coloured roofs, when coupled together with roof blankets and ceiling insulation, will great improve the energy efficiency and comfort factor in these homes,” Ms Strachan said.

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