The aims of these guidelines are:

  1. To maximise the benefits to the local community by encouraging the employment of local skills and labour in building projects in the Community.
  2. To improve the performance of future buildings in relation to local climate, lifestyle, user requirements and the heritage status of the town.
  3. To meet the social and cultural needs of the community
  4. To utilise relavant technology and the use of locally available raw materials when available
  5. To undertake to provide the relevant training programs for personal

Example Wilcannia North West N.S.W.

Characteristics of the Wilcannia climate, lifestyle and built environment:
  1. The latitude of Wilcannia is 31 deg. 33 min.
  2. The climate is typical hot-arid with hot summer days, cold winter nights and a 17 deg.C average diurnal temperature range.
  3. Most summer cool breezes are from the South and South-East, there are some hot North winds in summer and most cold winter winds are from the South and South-West
  4. Average rainfall is 250 mm. per annum.
  5. Throughout the year a lot of domestic activities are done outside.
  6. Wood is the available and favoured fuel for heating and some cooking eg: BBQ's
  7. Raw river water is reticulated for garden use and filtered river water is reticulated for domestic use.
  8. Electricity supply is not reliable, with frequent blackouts, some lasting several hours
  9. Many of the buildings in Wilcannia are old sandstone or old timber framed Australian vernacular. The historic status of the town is reasonably intact except for demolitions, creating potential building sites in heritage sensitive areas. The historic character of the town should be respected with regards to new buildings.

Guidelines for residential buildings and buildings for daytime use:

  1. Generally the building should be of high mass construction ie: solid brick, stone, earthwall, including and especially the internal walls. Sleeping areas may be of light weight construction and well ventilated for summer use.
  2. Walls to be shaded from the summer sun eg: verandahs, pergolas, trees.
  3. The building's larger window area should face North to avoid sun in summer and to gain heat in winter.
  4. The ceiling should be higher than the normal 2.4 metres and vented in summer.
  5. The roof cavity to be well vented, especially at its highest point.
  6. Highlight windows at ceiling height are an efficient method of ventilating the room in summer and allowing sufficient daylight, above a verandah, without too much heat gain.
  7. Floors should be built on the ground or earth fill eg: concrete slab, brick paving.
  8. Rainwater should be collected, with a suggested tank capacity of 4500-9000 litres.
  9. Solar water heating is viable, with protection for some below zero winter nights.
  10. The building process should include as much local skills and labour as possible. There are sufficient skills in the community to design and build completely, competitively and competently.
  11. All agencies should ensure thorough consultation with the end users of the buildings during design and construction.