Sharing knowledge and ideas to accelerate energy efficiency

13 Dec 2017

Our industry is on a mission to meet the 1.5 degrees target set as a result of the Paris Agreement.

It’s ambitious, but it’s not impossible.

In Australia, where the built environment contributes to around 23 per cent of carbon emissions, the way we approach the design, construction and performance of our buildings needs to change if we want to meet these targets by 2030.

At Swinburne University of Technology, Professor Peter Graham and Amanda Lawrence have spearheaded the launch of the  Low Carbon Living Knowledge Hub.

The project is a national research and innovation platform for sharing industry, government and academic research related to sustainability in the built environment.

It’s just one initiative under the CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL), which the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has supported since its inception.

GBCA Senior Manager – Research, Helen Bell, explains that the knowledge hub will unify the industry to find and discuss new pathways to energy efficiency.

“This fills a gap for our industry and government members, so it has been great be able to support this project and to see it go live.

“It will save literally days in sourcing research, as well as strengthening our knowledge sharing network.”

For example, the Victorian Government recently submitted its Energy Efficiency and Productivity Strategy to the database, outlining its plan of action in decarbonising the built environment.

It includes investing $1.8 million over the next four years to support poorly performing buildings to improve energy usage, which will save $18 million in cost over the next decade.

It will also commit $8.1 million to cutting edge technologies that will actively drive new energy efficient activity.

Peter says that access to this information allows room for transparency and accuracy in planning for smarter cities and communities.

“Stakeholders require different forms of evidence at different ‘moments’ in decision making.

“Most information available online has no quality filter, so there is a low level of trust in available resources.

“Making high-quality, research-based resources more discoverable and usable by offering insights and translations into non-technical language is something that practitioners and policy makers would value.”

Topics cover policy, practice and people across different spheres of the built environment.

“More needs to be done to provide a clear and consistent evidence base for which building energy policies lead to real climate mitigation impacts and achieve sustainable development goals,” Peter says.

The CRC for Low Carbon Living currently has 45 partners across a range of disciplines and is involved in a range of activities, research and education across industry and government.