The need to find a method for cooling a house in a hot climate is nothing new. With the use of systems for heating and cooling, Melbourne residents have demonstrated their willingness to look for effective solutions. Throughout history, there has been a range of methods and approaches for keeping cool.

How older civilisations kept cool

The ancient Egyptians hung dampened reeds over their windows and they also placed pots filled with water in their passageways. The ancient Romans used internal courtyards, sometimes with gardens and pools of water, to promote a flow of cooling air through their buildings.

In the Middle East, wind catchers were a common architectural technique that would improve airflow through buildings and help keep them cool. Sometimes these were used in conjunction with water pools, where the air would flow through the wind catcher down over the water where it would cool, before flowing through the rest of the property.

Mud bricks were a commonly used material for building houses and these act as a very effective insulator. They were often made with straw to help keep the integrity of the brick and to improve their resi