Building resilience to extreme weather with Climate Safe Rooms

Dan CowdellNews

The Climate Safe Rooms project seeks to protect the most vulnerable members of our community from the effects of more frequent extremes of weather by providing a Climate Safe Room, a room that can be a safe haven during heatwaves and times of extreme cold.

A Climate Safe Room is a room in the home that has been modified to ensure it does not become uncomfortably hot in summer or too cold in winter. Firstly the homes will be audited for energy performance with Victorian Residential Scorecard Assessments, then a room is made more energy efficient and then a highly efficient reverse cycle air-conditioner (for heating and cooling) is installed, together with a small solar system to generate the electricity needed to operate the air-conditioner and offset its running costs.

The project is funded by the Victorian Government and will create a Climate Safe Room in the home of eligible participants at no cost. The project will also measure the health and energy bill savings that result from making the home more comfortable during summer heatwaves and cold winter weather.

Geelong Sustainability's partners for Climate Safe Rooms are the City of Greater Geelong, CSIRO, ecoMaster, Uniting and the Victorian Government. The collaborative project has been successful in obtaining $300,000 in funding from the Victorian Governments Climate Change Innovation grants. The project was one of 24 projects funded across Victoria in a highly contested grant round that attracted over 200 applications.

Expressions of interest will be sought from 20 eligible householders wishing to participate in the program during late 2018, with upgrade works commencing in early 2019.  Data monitoring will continue for two years until mid 2020.

Read more about Climate Safe Rooms.