Water table depth data for use in modelling residential building ground-coupled heat transfer

Melissa James, Zhengen Ren, Tim J. Peterson, Dong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Water table depth influences ground-coupled heat transfer through the foundation of residential buildings and impacts energy consumption required for heating and cooling. Knowledge of water table depth in Australia is required to determine the extent of this impact on Australian housing. This study conducts a review of water table depth data in Australia and presents a case study indicating that 46% of Victoria's Urban Growth Zone has water table depths estimated to be less than 5 ​metres. Houses built here with no insulation to the slab and on average soil type would have a 24%–54% higher heat loss than if there was no water table. The degree of impact varies with changing water table depth in different locations and over time. The uncertainty associated with estimated water table depth is large. Extending residential energy rating tools to account for water table depth would require the development of Australia-wide water table depth data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100096
Number of pages8
JournalCleaner Engineering and Technology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Energy rating
  • Ground-coupled heat transfer
  • Residential energy efficiency
  • Water table depth

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