Try finding clothes lines in the Energy Efficiency section of the NCC. I couldn’t. But the cows will come home before you finish reading the requirements for air conditioning. AC units in houses in Australia were hens’ teeth in the 1960’s if one existed at all — now they’re abundant.

Looking back it wasn’t so long ago when life existed without electricity. The National Construction Code [NCC] promotes this change to electricity in Vol. 1:

 F 2.1 Facilities in residential buildings…

[a] For facilities in Class 2 buildings the following applies:

      {ii] For Laundry facilities, provide either—

                {A} in each sole-occupancy unit—

                        [bb] clothes drying facilities comprising clothes line or a hoist with not less than 7.5 metre of line, or space for one heat operated drying cabinet, or appliance in the same room as the clothes washing facilities; or….

The tastefuls aghast at the sight of colourful washing lit by the sun and fluttered by the breeze must be side-lined.

Net-zero is a self-justifying con: use it, don’t worry about it, don’t change a thing, someone else can offset it. Surely the first principle is to not use energy when you don’t have to. A clothes line does this except for the energy in the 7.5 metres of stranded wire and/or the clothes hoist itself. No energy burnt after installation.

Should the NCC have any sincerity with energy efficiency this section should read for all residential dwellings—high rises included:

[bb] clothes drying facilities comprising clothes line or a hoist with not less than 7.5 m of line for single bed residence, 15m for 2 bed residence, 21.5m for 3 bed and more residences, lines to be open to external air.

This forcefully phrased to make clothes lines mandatory in every residence

Dryers and any other energy consuming clothes drying devices should not be mentioned anywhere in the NCC for residences. If a citizen wishes to install a dryer, it’s their business only and they must, and will continue to have a clothes line open to external air.  

The tastefuls aghast at the sight of colourful washing lit by the sun and fluttered by the breeze must be side-lined. Body corporate rules and covenant conditions to be captured by this change to the NCC to ensure no citizen can be bullied for exposing their colourful washing in the pursuit of energy efficiency.

The aesthetic improvement in the built environment will be enormous. Instead of the multileveled boredom of stacked glass having less vitality than the urn wall at the crematorium, it will be ever changing facades with washing saying “humans live here!”. 

I once heard on the radio the word prostitute was a euphemism from harlot and whore. Recently euphemized with a trade description as sex-worker. Maybe the term clothes lines needs some green marketing sheen: zero energy evaporative dryer, with ultraviolet sanitiser.  

No electric dryer will ever equal that.

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  1. Have been saying that about clothes lines for years. And additionally, no wet areas (bathrooms, laundry) should be consructed without windows in any building. What’s needed are smart building designs that allow and promote a clean and human friendly existence.

  2. True! If I did I would demand a clothes line and use it.
    For high apartments that do look up “Images,
    Hong Kong clothes lines. If they can save the waste of energy so can we.

  3. Not just a sentiment. Something that should be a reality. I live in an apartment. Though I’m on the ground floor and am lucky enough to have 6 sq m of gravel outside and 12 m of line. People in units above dry their washing on their balconies.

    Air pollution is a worry, though. Who’d want to dry their clothes outside in the smog that passes for fresh air in some suburbs?

  4. Good sentiment, but it is immediately obvious to the reader that you don’t live in an apartment:

    “…high rises included:

    [bb] clothes drying facilities comprising clothes line or a hoist with not less than 7.5 m of line for single bed residence, 15m for 2 bed residence, 21.5m for 3 bed and more residences, lines to be open to external air.”