Freya Su

University of Tasmania
The Southern Hemisphere’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change on building hygrothermal behaviour

Australia is surrounded by vast stretches of ocean. Here in the Southern Hemisphere, there is a larger proportion of water to land, giving us a unique geographic vulnerability as seas warm with the effects of climate change. More water is being added to the atmosphere than ever before, and as temperatures rise, this will only increase.

Hygrothermal analysis is extremely sensitive to humidity and rain. Contemporary hygrothermal research is centred on studies and validations located in the Northern Hemisphere and doesn’t consider the south’s emerging challenges of high humidity and rainfall. If Australia continues to rely on research that doesn’t give us the full picture, our hygrothermal analysis and simulations will produce poor results for envelope design and NCC regulations.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), Southern Annular Mode (SAM), and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) are three major oceanic patterns that influence climate. Over the past decade, climate change has increased sea surface temperatures (SST) and disrupted these patterns. This presentation proposes a climate variation scenario based on climate change’s effects on Southern Hemisphere oceanic patterns, with a methodology to produce a contiguous 10-year weather file. The 10-year file will be used for hygrothermal and mould simulation using WUFI PRO. This will be compared to a simulation using a climate file created using the Hygrothermal Representative Year (HRY) climate methodology. 

About Freya Su:

Freya Su is a PhD student in the architectural science lab at the University of Tasmania. Her PhD investigates the relationship between hygrothermal simulation and climate data. Before beginning her current studies, she worked as a research assistant with Mark Dewsbury, M.AIRAH, and co-authored condensation-related publications. In 2015, Freya founded Snug House Tasmania, conducting airtightness testing and energy-efficiency assessments in a multi-disciplinary building design studio.