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Open AccessArticle

Residents’ Experiences of Privacy and Comfort in Multi-Storey Apartment Dwellings in Subtropical Brisbane

by 1,*, 2,† and 2,†
1
Centre for Subtropical Design, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, 4001 Australia
2
School of Design, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 4001, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Tan Yigitcanlar
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7741-7761; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7067741
Received: 2 March 2015 / Revised: 3 June 2015 / Accepted: 11 June 2015 / Published: 17 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Dwellings in multi-storey apartment buildings (MSAB) are predicted to increase dramatically as a proportion of housing stock in subtropical cities over coming decades. The problem of designing comfortable and healthy high-density residential environments and minimising energy consumption must be addressed urgently in subtropical cities globally. This paper explores private residents’ experiences of privacy and comfort and their perceptions of how well their apartment dwelling modulated the external environment in subtropical conditions through analysis of 636 survey responses and 24 interviews with residents of MSAB in inner urban neighbourhoods of Brisbane, Australia. The findings show that the availability of natural ventilation and outdoor private living spaces play important roles in resident perceptions of liveability in the subtropics where the climate is conducive to year round “outdoor living”. Residents valued choice with regard to climate control methods in their apartments. They overwhelmingly preferred natural ventilation to manage thermal comfort, and turned to the air-conditioner for limited periods, particularly when external conditions were too noisy. These findings provide a unique evidence base for reducing the environmental impact of MSAB and increasing the acceptability of apartment living, through incorporating residential attributes positioned around climate-responsive architecture. View Full-Text
Keywords: air-conditioning; apartment; comfort; climate-responsive design; multi-storey apartment building; natural ventilation; noise; outdoor living; privacy; resident satisfaction; subtropical air-conditioning; apartment; comfort; climate-responsive design; multi-storey apartment building; natural ventilation; noise; outdoor living; privacy; resident satisfaction; subtropical
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Kennedy, R.; Buys, L.; Miller, E. Residents’ Experiences of Privacy and Comfort in Multi-Storey Apartment Dwellings in Subtropical Brisbane. Sustainability 2015, 7, 7741-7761.

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