CRC lays foundations for low carbon built environment future

Now in its final year of funding, the CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) has significantly contributed to lowering carbon emissions in Australia’s built environment, said CEO Scientia Professor Deo Prasad AO.

“Over the past six years the low carbon research we have funded will help reduce carbon emissions in now and into the future through new technology and changes to policy and human behaviour,” said Professor Prasad.

“We are also on track to meet our founding goal of 10 megatonnes cumulative reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, enabling a projected economic benefit to Australia of $684 million by 2027,” he said.

“Over 120 CRCLCL projects have produced excellent results, such as the Built to Perform report which proves that changes to the National Construction Code could improve energy efficiency in Australian buildings by up to 56 per cent and cut household energy bills by $200-900 per year; and a low carbon schools education pilot program which saved 266 tonnes of carbon emissions in Western Australia, is now a viable ongoing national program called ClimateClever,” he continued.

“The CRCLCL’s Urban Heat Island Mitigation projects have provided an authoritative new body of Australian research critical to how we keep our cities cool and we published Australia’s first guide to urban cooling strategies which has been downloaded over 2,000 times,” said Professor Prasad.

Professor Prasad highlighted that collaboration is critical to achieving research impact with a number of CRCLCL urban heat mitigation researchers currently combining their expertise to develop a Continuing Professional Development course – Managing Urban Heat – that will be available online in 2019. This course will facilitate the transfer of knowledge to planners, designers and landscapers, using interactive case studies developed in real-world conditions with CRCLCL partners.

CRCLCL research has covered many areas that affect the built environment, from low carbon geopolymer concrete, which uses fly ash and by-products of fossil fuels in the mix and low energy production methods, to solar energy powered homes.

“Geopolymer concrete is tough stuff being trialled by NSW Ports for sea walls in Port Kembla, and our solar research shows that 81 per cent of a home’s electricity supply can be met by a combination of solar 3kW PV and a 10KWh battery, and that owner occupiers of net zero energy homes will save $24,935 over their home’s lifetime,” he said.

“Ultimately our research collaborations with industry and government have proved that a low to zero carbon future is not pie in the sky as we see our research becoming a reality and making real impact,” Professor Prasad concluded.

Professor Prasad recently contributed to US-based research that analysed the growing body of scientific data connecting High Performance Building design to occupant health and productivity.  San Francisco-based company Stok, a real estate company focused on healthy and regenerative buildings, released this report - High Performance Buildings - in early November. 

Hear more from Professor Deo Prasad AO at our TRANSFORM conference on 19-20 March 2019.